About me

Hi! I’m Rebecca, a 5th year Physics PhD candidate at Duke University working with Prof. Dan Scolnic on Type Ia Supernova (SNIa) cosmology. I’m an active member of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Collaboration, and my thesis work is focused on using photometric redshifts for SNIa cosmological analyses, either from the host galaxy or the SN itself. To do so effectively, I’m interested in leveraging the techniques and expertise developed from other cosmological probes that have already long been reliant on photometric redshifts, such as weak lensing and large scale structure. To this end, I’m also interested in all things related to host-galaxy systematics and Ia standardization. I’m also a member of the Time-Domain Working Group in the LSST-DESC Collaboration and involved with the Roman Space Telescope Supernova Project Infrastructure Team. I feel very lucky to be working in cosmology at this exciting point in time for survey science, and I feel strongly that the opportunity to do so should be available to anyone who is interested. I’ve been involved with a number of efforts to improve the climate of physics and to advocate for early career scientists.

I did my undergraduate at the University of Chicago, where I worked with Prof. Chihway Chang on projects in weak lensing and was a member of the first graduating class of Astronomy and Astrophysics majors. I also spent a summer at the historic Yerkes Observatory, as well as a summer at the Academic Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taipei.

Outside of academia, I am also learning about the ways in which we can effectively use data science methods to improve social equity and impact. This past summer I managed a team of Duke undergraduates in the Data+/Climate+ program on a project to quantify the carbon footprint of Duke Dining. I’m actively looking for volunteer positions, particularly in climate justice and food systems. Please reach out if you could use an extra hand with anything data-related! In my spare time, I enjoy reading, cooking and baking, sewing and knitting my own wardrobe, and board games.