Graduate Student Profiles

What are our current graduate students working on, and what do they most value about their experience at Michigan Astronomy? We've asked some students to share their stories. For a complete list of our graduate students and a description of their research, please see our Graduate Student page in the People section.

Ilse Cleeves

Protoplanetary Disks | Advisor: Ted Bergin

Ilse Cleeves studies the chemical and physical properties of young circumstellar disks, with a focus on ionization.

My advisor has so many novel, creative ideas; I’ve gone in completely unexpected directions.

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Colin Slater

Dwarf Galaxies | Advisor: Eric Bell

Colin Slater is using computational modeling to explore the properties of local dwarf galaxies. 

This is a very intellectually productive environment.”

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Anne Jaskot

NSF Fellowship | Gas Cycles in Starburst Galaxies | Advisor: Sally Oey

Anne Jaskot is examining what causes intense star formation in galaxies and whether such galaxies can leak enough UV radiation to explain the ionization of the early universe.

"I’ve been doing research since I first got here, and I was encouraged to go to conferences early on to present my results."

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Xiao Che

Interferometry Instrumentation | Advisor: John Monnier

Xiao Che worked with his advisor to upgrade the CHARA telescope array to better image hot stars and their environments. 

If you’re motivated, there are so many opportunities.

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Melissa McClure

NSF Fellowship | Circumstellar Particles | Advisor: Nuria Calvet

Melissa is looking at the clouds and early disks around young stars to learn how diffuse dust grains lump together, creating conditions for planets to form.

“I came to U-M because of the caliber of the faculty. We’re in a race to publish with groups from Caltech, Harvard CfA, and Europe — it’s truly the cutting-edge.”

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Dan Gifford

NSF Fellowship | Galaxy Clusters | Advisor: Chris Miller

Dan Gifford is working to make the caustic method a more accessible method for measuring the mass of galaxy clusters.

“This is an encouraging, collaborative department. Grad school is demanding, so that support system is really important.”

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Ashley King

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship | Black Holes | Advisor: Jon Miller

Ashley is researching how accretion onto black holes, which is seen in X-ray, affects the production of jets, which is seen in radio.

“This is a great young department that’s very driven. We’re strong in the field of black holes, both observationally and theoretically.”

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