Sierra Grant

Graduate Student, Department of Astronomy, Boston University


10959682_10204899932911459_1371290663259234323_nHello and welcome! I am a sixth-year graduate student in the Boston University Department of Astronomy and Institute for Astrophysical Research, working with Prof. Catherine Espaillat. In Fall 2021, I will be joining Prof. Ewine van Dishoeck’s group at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. I study protoplanetary disks which are disks of gas and dust that surround young stars and are the birthplaces of exoplanets. Specifically, I focus on accretion from the disk onto the central star and how populations of disks evolve. I use models and observations, with data from space-based (including Spitzer and Herschel) and ground-based telescopes (including the Lowell Discovery Telescope, Gemini South, NASA’s IRTF, and ALMA) to characterize protoplanetary disk evolution and what that evolution means for forming planets. More information is available on my Research page.
Artist’s conception of a protoplanetary disk with actively forming planets clearing a gap in the disk. Credit: The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Japan
A column density map of L1641. In Grant et al. 2018 and Grant et al. 2021, we analyze far-infrared photometry and sub-millimeter observations of protoplanetary disks in this region to study their evolutionary state. (Image from Stutz & Kainulainen, 2015)