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Sarah Burke-Spolaor
Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy


Braving the brisk mountain air, 2021.
Almost all of us in one place for once, August 2021! From left to right: K. Aggarwal, S. Burke-Spolaor, C. Dear, R. Thomas, J. Sydnor, M. Waddy, C. Witt, G. Walsh. Not pictured: K. Green, B. Cheeseboro.

Current Students and Postdocs:

Gregory Walsh - Graduate Student
Project: Exploring the evolution of binary black holes in galaxy mergers through radio imaging.

Jessica Sydnor - Graduate Student
Project: Multi-messenger searches for binary supermassive black holes, and BoBcat: A Database of Candidate Binary Supermassive Black Holes. Also, X-ray studies of FRB190520.

Reshma Thomas - Graduate Student
Project: Fast radio burst localization and Polarization studies of the Localized Fast Radio Burst population

Nikita Aggwarwal - Graduate Student
Project: Continuous-wave searches for binary supermassive black holes

Tingting Liu - Postdoc
Projects: Observations of active galactic nuclei as binary supermassive black hole candidates.

Past Postdocs:

Peter Breiding
Focus(es): The hunt for binary supermassive black holes; Single, dual, and binary AGN; multi-wavelength analysis.

Justin Linford
Focus(es): Radio transients; Classical Novae; Improving Realfast operations.

Here are the theses of my past great grad students!

Kshitij Aggarwal (graduated WVU 2021):
 "Searching Harder, Localizing Better, Classifying Faster: Optimizing Fast Radio Burst Detection And Analysis"
(Machine learning for FRBs; Realfast: a real-time, commensal, fast transient detector on the Very Large Array)

Belinda Cheeseboro (graduated WVU 2021):
"Development of Eccentric Black Hole Binary Searches in the LIGO and PTA Regimes"
(Building eccentric source modelling into PTA and LIGO searches for gravitational waves)

Caitlin Witt (graduated WVU 2022):
"Bayesian Methods for Multi-Messenger Analysis of Supermassive Black Hole Binaries: Pulsars and Quasars and Gravitational Waves, Oh My!"
(Multi-messenger algorithms and searches for binary supermassive black holes)

Past group contributors/members:

Megan Jones - Graduate Student, primary supervisor M. McLaughlin
Investigating the Candidate Displaced Active Galactic Nucleus in NGC 3115.
Congrats to Megan for her Nov 2018 graduation!

Nihan Pol
- Graduate Student, primary supervisor M. McLaughlin
Project: Exploring the origins of the young Galactic halo pulsar, PSR 0837-24.

Rodney Elliot - Undergraduate Student
Project: Testing hypotheses for the evolution of the black hole(s) galaxy 1015+364.

Kris Wolfe - Undergraduate Student
The properties of spheroidal post-merger galaxies.

Kara Green - Undergraduate Student
Project: Binary/recoiling black holes in spheroidal post-merger galaxies.

Simon Wirth - Undergraduate Student
The binary supermassive black hole database.

Morgan Waddy - Graduate Student
Project: The Petabyte Project for Fast Radio Bursts, and FRB Algorithm development