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


Ph.D. in Physics (2014 – present)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Thesis topic: Structure of the High-Inclination Kuiper Belt Using the Dark Energy Survey
Advisor: Dr. David Gerdes

M.S. in Physics (2014 – 2017)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

B.S. in Physics (2010 – 2014)
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Advisors: Dr. Joey Huston, Dr. Wade Fisher


Graduate Research Assistant (2015 – present)
Observational Astronomy – discovery and characterization of trans-Neptunian objects using the Dark Energy Survey


Undergraduate Research Assistant (2010 – 2014)
High Energy Physics – improvements to ATLAS Tile Calorimeter detector, machine learning exploration with a Higgs boson analysis (H –> b b_bar)

Summer Intern, Fermilab (Summer 2013)
High Energy Physics – optimized a multivariate machine learning classifier, significant improvements to a Higgs boson analysis

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

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


(6) S. J. Hamilton, D. W. Gerdes, et al, “Dark Energy Survey Simulation for Moving Object Detection,” 2018, in prep.
(5) H. W. Lin, D. W. Gerdes, S. J. Hamilton, et al, “Evidence for Color Dichotomy in the Primordial Neptune Trojan Population,” 2018, in prep, intended for Icarus.
(4) J. C. Becker, T. Khain, S. J. Hamilton, F. C. Adams, et al, “Discovery and Dynamical Analysis of an Extreme Trans-Neptunian Object with a High Orbital Inclination,” 2018, submitted to AJ.
(3) J. C. Becker, F. C. Adams, T. Khain, S. J. Hamilton, D. W. Gerdes, “Evaluating the Dynamical Stability of Outer Solar System Objects in the Presence of Planet Nine,” AJ, 154, 2, 61 (2017).
(2) D. W. Gerdes, M. Sako, S. J. Hamilton, et al., “Discovery and Characterization of a Large Scattered Disk Object at 92 AU,” ApJL 152, L15 (2017).
(1) D. W. Gerdes, R. J. Jennings, et al. (S. J. Hamilton 8th author), “Observation of Two New L4 Neptune Trojans in the Dark Energy Survey Supernova Fields”, AJ 151, 39 (2016).

Awards and Honors

American Astronomical Society International Travel Grant, 2018
American Astronomical Society Hartmann Student Travel Grant, 2017
University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School Conference Travel Grant, 2015, 2016, 2017
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


Mar 2018: “Trans-Neptunian Solar System Science with the Dark Energy Survey,” The Transneptunian Solar System Workshop, Coimbra, Portugal.
Feb 2018: “Studying the z=10−25 Universe with the Dark Energy Survey,” Michigan State University Physics Seminar, East Lansing, MI.
Feb 2018: “Observational Bias of Large Semimajor Axis, Eccentric Trans-Neptunian Ob jects with the Dark Energy Survey,” Women in Planetary Science and Exploration Conference, Toronto, Ontario, CA.
Jan 2018: “Bowling Balls vs. Ping Pong Balls: How the Solar Systems Smallest Members Reveal Its History,” Nerd Nite Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI.
Oct 2017: “Detection Bias for Trans-Neptunian Objects on Highly Elliptical Orbits with the Dark Energy Survey,” AAS DPS Meeting, Provo, UT.
Mar 2017: “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.
Jan 2017: “Dwarf Planets and Super-Earths: Mysteries of Our Solar System”, Sloan Longway Planetarium First Friday, Flint, MI.

(9 additional talks not listed)


Workshop Instructor, Summer 2018
RELATE Intensive STEM Communication Fundamentals Workshop

Graduate Student Instructor, July 2018
Michigan Math and Science Scholars
“Climbing the Distance Ladder to the Big Bang: How Astronomers Survey the Universe”

Graduate Student Instructor, May 2017
Ground-Based Observatories (hosted at Kitt Peak National Observatory, AZ)

Graduate Student Instructor, 2015–2016
Intro Electricity and Magnetism Laboratory

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, 2014
Intro Electricity and Magnetism

Tutor, 2010–2014
Intro physics, algebra, calculus

Science Communication

RELATE leadership board member, 2017–present
Communicating Science Conference for Graduate Students, Michigan region organizer (ComSciCon-MI), 2017–present
Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop participant, May 2018
Astrobites author and editor, 2017–present
Michigan Science Writers author and editor, 2017–present
Detroit Zoo Science Communication Fellowship, 2018–2019
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History Science Communication Fellowship, 2017–2018

Other Outreach Experience

Dark Energy Survey Image Curation Lead, 2016-present
Slauson Middle School Physics Demonstration Day, 2015-2017
FEMMES Capstone Day, 2015-2017