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My research explores the extreme endpoints of matter in the Universe: black holes and neutron stars. I am principle investigator on programs to identify electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources detected by the LIGO-Virgo laser interferometers, including the discovery in 2017 of the first neutron star merger GW170817, for which I co-led the identification of the first X-ray counterpart. This discovery was Science Magazine’s 2017 Breakthrough of the Year and my team was awarded a Top 10 Discovery of 2018 by Québec Science.

I also lead multi-wavelength, time domain studies of growing supermassive black holes, including Sagittarius A* and M87. As a member of the multi-wavelength coordination team, I joined the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration in reporting the first direct image of a black hole’s shadow in 2019. This amazing image appeared on the front page of nearly every prominent newspaper worldwide, and I was honoured as La Presse’s Personalité de la semaine for my role in the discovery. I was also thrilled to be a part of the EHT team receiving the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

My research has been highlighted by the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars Award in the Gravity and the Extreme Universe Program, and a Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Multi-messenger Astrophysics.

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McGill University/McGill Space Institute

Montréal, QC, Canada

Associate Professor of Physics, 2020 – present

Assistant Professor of Physics, 2015 – 2020

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 

PhD, Astronomy, 2010

MSc, Astronomy, 2006

Amherst College

Amherst, MA

Assistant Professor of Astronomy, 2014 – 2015

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

CIERA Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010 – 2014

NSF GK-12 Coordinator/Mentor, 2010 – 2013

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

NASA Jenkins Predoctoral Fellow, 2005 – 2008

Research Teaching Assistant, 2003 – 2010

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA 

MSc, Physics, 2004

St. John's College

Santa Fe, NM

BA, Philosophy, 1995


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