RESEARCH

PROJECTS

Impacts of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases on Climate

With global temperatures rising, it is becoming more important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause Earth’s temperature to rise. A lot of policies focus on reducing carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), and rightfully so since CO2 is the largest contributor to global warming. But, more effort can be done to reduce non-CO2 greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. Methane is a short-lived gas with a warming potential that is 27 times more than that of CO2. And nitrous oxide has 298 times the heat-trapping capability as CO2. I study the impacts that methane and nitrous oxide have on the global climate.

Sustainable Dairy Practices and Mitigation

The dairy sector contributes to global warming by emitting significant contributions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Farmers are capable of reducing their emissions by implementing better practices. Using an earth system model, I aim to determine how much best management practices in the agricultural sector can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and reduce global climate change.

You can learn more about the Sustainable Dairy Project here.

A Search for Highly Dispersed Fast Radio Bursts in Three Parkes Multibeam Surveys (2016)

Radio telescopes help astronomers at look at stars in a very different view from traditional visible light telescopes. The largest radio telescope in the Western world is the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico. I used the Arecibo telescope to search our distant neighboring galaxy cluster (the Large Magellanic Cloud) for pulsating objects called pulsars. These objects have a pretty consistent rhythm that we can use like clocks. But sometimes, our radio telescopes detect an object that emits a burst of energy just like a pulsar and never returns again. These mysterious radio signal bursts are not well understood and very hard to study since they happen only once without any warning. This study hoped to detect them but did not have any luck during the period we had to use the telescope.

You can learn more about published study here and the Arecibo Telescope here.

Predicting Lyman-alpha and Mg II Fluxes from K and M Dwarfs Using GALEX Ultraviolet Photometry (2014)

I developed a method for inferring the ultra-violet (UV) exposure to planets outside our solar system by identifying correlations between the spectral radiation emitted from their stars (Lyman-alpha flux) with the energy measured by similar stars from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). This allows for a better understanding of what dangerous radiation exoplanets might be exposed to that would be bad for the existence of alien life.

You can read about the published work here and learn about GALEX here.

Simulating Pulsar-Timing Residuals (2014)

Pulsars are small spherical objects (about the size of a large city) in outer space that have a beam of radiation coming out of its poles. As the pulsar rotates, the beams pass our field of view, what we measure is a “pulse” in the energy we measure coming from it. This is analogous to a lighthouse beam. In this independent student project I simulated pulsar measurements collected by NANOGrav. The goal was to create simulations of several well-timed pulsar residuals so that the group can optimize pulsar-timing models and decrease errors made in the measurements. Ultimately, the effort I made would help with the detection of gravitational waves, or propagating ripples in spacetime.

Learn more about NANOGrav and their efforts to detect gravitational waves here.


PUBLICATIONS

Shkolnik, E. L., K. A. Rolph, S. Peacock, and T. S. Barman (2014), Predicting Lyα and Mg II fluxes from K and M dwarfs using galaxy evolution explorer ultraviolet photometry, Astrophys. J. Lett., 796(1), 1–15, doi:10.1088/2041-8205/796/1/L20.

Crawford, F., A. Rane, L. Tran, K. Rolph, D. R. Lorimer, and J. P. Ridley (2016), A search for highly dispersed fast radio bursts in three Parkes multibeam surveys, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 460(3), 3370–3375, doi:10.1093/mnras/stw1233.


PRESENTATIONS

  • Sustainable Dairy All-Hands Meeting, Raleigh, NC (April 20, 2017)

  • Technical English Exam, State College, PA (December 8, 2016)

  • Sustainable Dairy All-Hands Meeting, Madison, WI (March 1-2, 2016)

  • Central PA Consortium Astronomers’ Conference, Lancaster, PA (April 5, 2014)

  • American Astronomical Society Meeting, Washington, DC (January 5-9, 2014)