My research focuses on understanding planetary magnetospheric dynamics, specifically using a combination of 3D multi-fluid simulations and data collected by various space based instruments such as the Cassini and Galileo spacecrafts and the and Hubble Space Telescope. Most recently I have focused on Saturn's moon Enceladus; incorporating the neutral-ion interactions between Enceladus' plume and Saturn's magnetospheric plasma into existing plasma dynamic simulations in an effort to better explain observations of local and extended field and plasma perturbations observed by the Cassini spacecraft near Enceladus.
I am also interested in bridging the gap between magnetospheric and atmospheric sciences. To this end I am working on expanding current plasma dynamic models to explicitly include interactions with the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere, using the conditions in Mars' diffuse upper atmosphere as case study. Coupling the upper atmsohpere to the plasma dynamics of Mars' near space environment will lead to a more complete understanding of the processes governing Mars' atmospheric electrodynmaics.
As a graduate student at the University of Washington my research focused on understanding the coupled interactions of Jupiter's magnetosphere with that of the icy moon Ganymede and the role of heavy ions in governing the dynamics of the system. I am still very interested in the study of the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean moons and am currently involved in the development of instruments for future missions to this system. See my post on the selection of JUICE for ESA's next large science mission. Specifically I am a Co-Investigator on the Particle Environment Package (PEP) for ESA's JUICE mission to Ganymede and on the Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) and the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON) instruments for NASA's new Mission to Europa. More details can be found here on these recent NASA selections.
We're going to GANYMEDE and EUROPA!!
Please take a look at my Research Page for detailed descriptions and current status of the various projects I'm directly working on our research Group Page to see who's doing what, and my Teaching Page to see courses in this area currently and previously offered.
Research Interstests: Space Physics, Magnetospheric Science, Planetary Physics, Comparative Planetology