The main focus of my research is the study of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in the near and distant universe. AGN are centers of galaxies containing supermassive black holes (BH) that are actively accreting matter at relatively high rates. Much of the gravitational energy of the infalling material is transformed into radiative energy across the electromagnetic spectrum, making AGN some of the most powerful and luminous objects in the universe. There are many outstanding fundamental questions regarding the origins and astrophysics of AGN, such as determining the most common triggering mechanisms, the duty cycle, and the mass of the central BH. I investigate these topics through the detailed study of the environments and host galaxies of AGN, as well as establishing relationships between observable parameters in the host galaxies and fundamental parameters in their active nuclei.
A brief overview of my research: Quasars, Host Galaxies, and Their Role in Galaxy Evolution
A list of Publications.
- The relevance of mergers in the triggering of quasar activity
- Low-ionization broad absorption line quasars and feedback
- Velocity dispersions of quasar host galaxies
- The evolution of velocity dispersions during mergers
- The evolution of the M-sigma relation out to z~1
- The Lick AGN Monitoring Project (LAMP)
UCR Research Team
- Graduate students: Nathaniel Stickley, Roozbeh Davari, Gerald Rude
- Undergrad students: Kyle Lee, Kevin Aylor
- Postdocs: Aleks Diamond-Stanic
- Former PhD students: Eddie Laag (now at the Aerospace Corporation), Mariana Lazarova (now at Pomona College), Kyle D. Hiner (now a California Science and Technology Policy Fellow)
- PHYS 6: "The Violent Universe" - a survey course for non-science majors, offered Winter 2012.
- PHYS 111: "Astrophysics and Stellar Astronomy" - an upper division astronomy class, currently taught by Prof. Siana.
- PHYS 214: "Techniques of Observational Astrophysics" - a graduate core requirement, offered Spring 2012.
- PHYS 217: "Stellar Structure and Evolution" - a graduate astronomy elective, offered Fall 2013.
- PHYS 251: "Observational Astronomy" - a graduate seminar offered every quarter.
- HNPG 015: "Hazards of the Universe" - an honors program course covering topics ranging from geology to public policy, offered Winter 2012.
- Astronomer Helps Children in Africa Reach for the Stars
- UCR: Living the Promise
- The Face Behind the Science
- Hubble Spies Shells of Sparkling Stars Around Quasar
- Hubble Space Telescope Spies Galaxy and Black Hole Evolution in Action
- Hubble Reveals Massive Disk Galaxies in Early Universe
- New Technology Enables Astronomers to Detect Two Supermassive Black Holes in Colliding Galaxies
- NASA's Chandra Finds Evidence for Quasar Ignition