My main research interests are the observational study of extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs (objects not massive enough to ignite hydrogen fusion), in particular their discovery and characterisation on the basis of optical/infrared observations with imaging, spectroscopic, and interferometric instruments. I specialised in the use of high-precision astrometry, that is the measurement of stellar positions in the sky plane, obtained from a variety of instruments on ground and in space. To make these measurements possible, I contribute to new instruments and surveys and I develop techniques that push the capabilities of existing facilities.
I am a physicist with a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics. Until recently, I worked as Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project, with an 80/20 split between functional duties and self-directed research.
As the technical lead for focal plane and astrometry in the STScI Telescopes Branch I oversaw the implementation of the related JWST commissioning activities. I was also the commissioning deputy lead in the JWST/NIRISS instrument branch. My responsibilities could be described as a rewarding blend of finding practical solutions for complex problems, software development, and coordinating project work across several sub-systems with diverse teams.