The overarching theme of my research is to use comparisons between theory and observations of the local universe to learn about dark matter and galaxy formation. In particular, I investigate whether observations of the Milky Way and the ultra-faint galaxies orbiting it are consistent with the Cold Dark Matter model of the Universe. To do this, I:
- Search for nearly invisible galaxies in big buckets of survey data
- Use images and spectra obtained in pointed observations to study the Milky Way's companions in detail
- Analyze computer simulations of galaxy formation.