Welcome!

I conduct experiments on the largest lasers in the world to better understand the origins of our universe.

I am currently a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church College, University of Oxford, working with Professor Gianluca Gregori in the field of laboratory astrophysics.   Outside of research, I am a strong advocate for women in physics, a science communicator, and lover of both rock climbing and tiny puppies (in nearly equal measure).

current research

What is the origin of magnetic fields in our universe?

Using the largest laser on Earth, the National Ignition Facility, we can recreate powerful astrophysical events such as supernovas in the laboratory to evince turbulent dynamo– a phenomenon that explains the ubiquitous magnetisation of the universe.

We have experimentally shown that scaled protogalactic magnetic fields can be generated in a laser-produced shockwave and then amplified with turbulent motions to explain field structures found in Cassiopeia A and the Coma galaxy cluster.  For exceptionally hot, collisional plasmas, we can even amplify fields towards equipartition of kinetic and magnetic energy– turbulent dynamo.

Why are cosmic magnetic fields important?

Magnetic fields are like the invisible glue that helps keep objects in the universe together.  For instance, the large fields associated with galaxy clusters play a role in the formation of compact objects such as stars and galaxies.

Learn More!

advocacy

Women in Physics

Be the change you want to see in the world.

In the highly male-dominated field of physics, women can often feel limited in their potential due to a lack of female role models and propensity for imposter syndrome.  Furthermore, there are severe issues with retention of women in science after higher education.

What have I done to help?

To target concerns of isolation and imposter syndrome, I created the Oxford Women in Physics Society in an effort to cultivate a welcoming network of supportive women.  We further developed a mentoring programme and held regular tea sessions, dinners, and Q&A panels.  Along with Daniela Bortoletto and the Women in Physics Society, we created the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, held each year for female undergraduates to explore their options within science.

What am I doing now?

I have turned my focus towards the issue of retention of women in science by promoting career and wellness support for early career researchers.  Watch this space!

Speech and Debate Background

  • Parliamentary Debate Collegiate National Champion (USA) with additional Silver Medal in Impromptu Speaking (2007)
  • Collegiate Debate State Champion (California) with a Gold Medals in both Parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas Debate.  Bronze Medals in both Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking (2007)

 

Qualifications

Appointments

  • Junior Research Fellow of Christ Church College, University of Oxford (2015-present)
  • Stipendiary Lecturer for 1st and 2nd year Optics, University of Oxford
    • Christ Church College (2017-2018)
    • St. Catherine’s College (2017-2018)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher at Stanford University, SLAC (2015)
  •  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, National Ignition Facility (NIF) summer internships (2008-2011)

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Atomic and Laser Physics, University of Oxford (2017)
  • Bachelor of Science, major in Physics and minor in Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles (2011)
  • Moorpark Community College (2008)

Leadership

  • Lead Coordinator, Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition “How to Make a Supernova” (2017)
  • NIF User Group Executive Board, Young Researcher Representative (2015-2016)
  • Founder and former President, Oxford Women in Physics Society, OxWiP (2013-2015)
  • Founder and Co-Coordinator, OxWiP Mentoring Programme (2014-2015)
  • Co-Founder, ScienceGrrl Oxford Chapter (2014)
  • Graduate Academic Affairs Officer, Oxford University Student Union (2014-2015)
  • Graduate Representative for the Department of Physics, University of Oxford (2014-2015)
  • Founder, “Making Waves” outreach programme (2013)
  • Graduate Representative, Equality and Diversity Board, University of Oxford (2013-2015)
  • Graduate Representative, Atomic and Laser Physics, University of Oxford (2013-2015)

Honours

  • Rutherford Plasma Physics Communication Prize (2018)
  • MPLS Impact Award, Early Career Researcher (2018)
  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell Medal and Prize (2015)
  • Physics World Top Ten Physics Breakthrough (2014)
  • American Physical Society Woman Physicist of the Month (2014)
  • Finalist, Women of the Future: Science Award (2014)
List of Publications
Invited Talks, Lectures, and more

Outside of science

Maintaining balance

In my free time, I try to push myself to new physical and mental limits outdoors.  I can usually be found rock climbing, trail running, or mountaineering.  My favourite destinations include Tuolumne, Joshua Tree, North Wales, and Pembroke.  Technical, runout slabs and crack climbing– I’m a trad junkie.

Unique to me

I’m obsessed with tiny puppies– properly incapable of maintaining composure.  I hiccup a lot, especially when I’m nervous… it’s embarrassing.  I sleep with my eyes open (weird right?) and have super-smelly nose powers.  I’m also a DDR master and truly believe Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the best game ever.  Word.

Why physics?

Training from the age of 6, I always wanted to be an artist.  Physics was not part of the plan, but it was a natural fit.  I didn’t grow up looking through a telescope, building robots, or conducting experiments at home.  As an adult, I chose to be in physics because it provided me with a new, beautiful way to see the world and understand my place in it.