about me

I grew up in a log cabin in a small Pennsylvania coal-mining town. Since our house was too secluded to get cable, I spent my childhood reading fantasy books, exploring the woods, and participating in every school club I could cram into my schedule. 


Through hard work and a significant amount of luck, I was accepted to Harvard University, where I became the school's first ever student to study both astrophysics and folklore & mythology. After graduating, I decided to pursue my PhD in astronomy at Columbia University, but I haven't forgotten my folklore roots. I'm passionate about both science communication and coherent storytelling. If you ask me to explain planet formation or analyze the credibility of a piece of fiction, I could happily talk for hours. 

I've written a science fiction novel (yes, you can read it here), given more than 100 talks about science and equity & inclusion, been interviewed on television and podcasts, and designed an exhibit for the New York Hall of Science. These are just some of the ways I've used my expertise as an astronomer and folklorist.

Invite me to give a workshop at your organization. I'll help you think like a scientist and build a better world.