My research fields are astrobiology and planetary science. My research focuses on trying to answer several big questions:
1) How common are Earth-like planets?
2) What can the origin and evolution of life on Earth tell us about life elsewhere in the universe?
These questions can be divided up into: How did the Earth form? What is the chemical relationship between the Earth and the Sun? What is the age distribution of stars in the universe with enough refractory elements to make protoplanetary disks out of which a wet rocky planet could be made? What can the statistics of multiple planet systems recently discovered by the Kepler Space Telescope tell us about the architectures of planetary systems? My approach to answering these questions often involves the compilation and comparison of data from different fields (e.g. see Figure)
The names on the left are the names of 31 Kepler exoplanetary systems. The blue dots are exoplanets detected by Kepler. Red and gray squares are our predictions based on the Titius-Bode relation. The green horizontal band are the circumstellar habitable zones in these systems. For comparison, the first system (at the top) is our Solar System. The Earth is in the middle of the habitable zone. Figure from Bovaird, Lineweaver and Jacobsen, 2015, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 448, 3608.