You can find my full CV here, and a brief version here. Some of the highlights are listed below!


In Progress
Ph.D. in Physics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Thesis topic: Structure and Dynamics of the High-Inclination Kuiper Belt
Advisor: Dr. David Gerdes

B.S. in Physics, Minor in Music, with honors
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Advisors: Dr. Joey Huston, Dr. Wade Fisher


Graduate Student, UM
Observational Astronomy – discovery and characterization of trans-Neptunian objects using the Dark Energy Survey

Undergraduate Researcher, MSU
High Energy Physics – several projects, including detector improvements to the ATLAS detector and explorations with machine learning to improve a Higgs boson analysis.

Summer 2013
Summer Intern, Fermilab
High Energy Physics – optimized a machine learning classifier, improving a Higgs boson analysis

Summer 2012
Summer Intern, CERN
High Energy Physics – made detector and event-filtering improvements

Summer 2011
Summer Intern, Fermilab
High Energy Physics – developed new variables to use in a machine learning classifier, improved a mature Higgs boson analysis


J. C. Becker, F. C. Adams, T. Khain, S. Hamilton, D. W. Gerdes, “Evaluating the Dynamical Stability of Outer Solar System Objects in the Presence of Planet Nine,” submitted to AJ, 2017.

D. W. Gerdes, M. Sako, S. Hamilton, et al., “Discovery and Characterization of a Large Scattered Disk Object at 92 AU,” ApJL 152, L15 (2017).

D. W. Gerdes, R. J. Jennings, G. M. Bernstein, M. Sako, F. Adams, D. A. Goldstein, R. Kessler, S. Hamilton, et al., “Observation of Two New L4 Neptune Trojans in the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Fields”, AJ 151, 39 (2016).

Awards and Honors

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2016-2019
NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship – Declined, 2016
Helmut W. Baer Graduate Fellowship (UofM), 2014-2015
Thomas H. Osgood Award – Outstanding senior in physics (MSU), 2013
Bruce VerWest Award – Outstanding junior in physics (MSU), 2012
Lawrence W. Hantel Fellowship (MSU), 2011-2013
Skandalaris Family Foundation Scholarship, 2010-2013


“From Dwarf to Super-Earth: How the Solar System’s Smallest Members Point the Way to Planet Nine”, University of Michigan Saturday Morning Physics Seminar, Ann Arbor, MI, March 2017.

“Dwarf Planets and Super-Earths: Mysteries of Our Solar System”, Sloan Longway Planetarium First Friday, Flint, MI, January 2017.

“Dwarf Planets and Super-Earths: Mysteries of Our Solar System”, Emerson School Astrofest Science Fair, Ann Arbor, MI, January 2017.


May 2017
Graduate Student Instructor (UM)
Astro 461 – Ground-Based Observatories (Kitt Peak National Observatory, AZ)

Graduate Student Instructor (UM)
Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (MSU)
Intro Electricity and Magnetism

Tutor (MSU, independent)
Intro physics, algebra, calculus


Sloan Longway Planetarium First Friday Talk, 2017
Dark Energy Survey Image Curation Lead, 2016-present
Slauson Middle School Physics Demonstration Day, 2015-2017
FEMMES Capstone Day, 2015-2016