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Meet CIERA’s seven incoming postdocs!

Welcome new postdoctoral researchers!

We are very excited to introduce the newest cohort of incoming Fall 2024 CIERA Postdoctoral Fellows and Associates! These seven scholars will bring a wide range of expertise that promises to advance CIERA’s cutting-edge research programs.

Debatri Chattopadhyay

Debatri (Cardiff) is joining CIERA as a Postdoctoral Associate working with Prof. Vicky Kalogera. Debatri’s research focuses on the formation and merging of compact binaries in dense and isolated stellar environments. At CIERA, she will particularly explore the astrophysics of neutron star evolution.

Lindsey Kwok

Lindsey (Rutgers) is joining us as a CIERA Postdoctoral Fellow. Lindsey studies the infrared characteristics and evolution of white-dwarf supernovae using near and mid-infrared spectroscopy from JWST. At CIERA, she will lead a new JWST program to discover the infrared behavior of these supernovae, testing models over a wide wavelength range and time scale to answer fundamental questions about their origin.

Tri Nguyen

Tri (MIT Kavli Institute and NSF Institute for AI and Fundamental Interactions) is joining CIERA as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Tri seeks to understand the nature of dark matter and its role in shaping the formation and evolution of galaxies, especially at small scales. At CIERA, he will investigate how baryonic feedback and dark matter properties affect dwarf galaxies and prepare for upcoming astronomical surveys (including LSST).

Chris O’Connor

Chris (Cornell) is joining us as a CIERA Postdoctoral Fellow. He studies the dynamics of planetary systems using analytical and computational techniques, with an emphasis on orbital instabilities, tidal disruption, and planet engulfment by stars. At CIERA, Chris plans to build on theoretical predictions in this area and follow up with JWST observations. He will also explore similar physical processes in close binary stars, star clusters, and galactic nuclei.

Anarya Ray

Anarya (University of Wisconsin) will be joining CIERA as a Postdoctoral Associate working with Prof. Vicky Kalogera. Anarya researches the formation of compact object binaries, the cosmic expansion history, and the nature of fundmental interactions from gravitational wave and multi-probe observations. At CIERA he will develop tools for optimizing the real-time search for multi-messenger counterparts to gravitational wave candidates.

Sunil Simha

Sunil (UC Santa Cruz) is joining CIERA as the inaugural Northwestern University – University of Chicago Brinson Postdoctoral Fellow. Sunil’s research uses fast radio bursts (FRBs) as probes of matter in the universe. At CIERA, he will combine the information obtained through FRBs with 3D optical maps of the foreground universe to place novel constraints on plasma distribution around and between galaxies.

Samantha Wu

Samantha (California Institute of Technology) will join us as a Visiting Scholar next fall, and then a CIERA Postdoctoral Fellow in fall 2026. Samantha uses theoretical models to study stellar evolution, often involving internal stellar oscillations. At CIERA, she will continue her work investigating the origins of pre-supernova mass loss and will explore the role of dynamical tidal dissipation in shaping planetary architectures.