Below is a summary of my Curriculum Vitae as of Sep 10, 2018. You can also obtain a PDF version of this information. A complete publications list can be found on this page or as a PDF version.

Research Interests

  • Electromagnetic follow-up of gravitational wave events from Advanced LIGO and VIRGO.
  • Theoretical modeling of optical transients associated with binary neutron star mergers (e.g., kilonovae).
  • General time-domain astrophysics: contamination in optical surveys, survey design and optimization, rapid timescale transients.
  • Large-scale astronomy image processing and pipeline development for surveys.

Contact Information

Carnegie Observatories
813 Santa Barbara St.
Pasadena, CA 91104

E-mail - pcowperthwaite@carnegiescience.edu
Office - 203

Education

  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA
    • A.M., Astronomy (Spring 2015)
    • Ph.D., Astronomy (Spring 2018)
      • From Design to Detection: Joint Gravitational Wave and Electromagnetic Astronomy
      • Advisor: Prof. Edo Berger
      • Awarded the Fireman Thesis Prize
  • The University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, Maryland USA
    • B.S., Summa Cum Laude, Astronomy with High Honors (Spring 2013)
    • B.S., Summa Cum Laude, Physics (Spring 2013)

Positions

  • Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, California USA
    • NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-2021

Awards

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-2021
  • American Astronomical Society
    • Rodger Doxsey Travel Prize (2018)
  • Harvard University
    • Fireman Thesis Prize (2018)
    • Harvard Horizons Finalist (2018)
    • Merit Fellowship (2017–2018)
    • John Parker Bequest Grant (2017–2018)
    • John P. and Carol J. Merrill Graduate Fellow (2014–15)
  • National Science Foundation
    • Graduate Research Fellowship (2013–18)
  • University of Maryland, College Park
    • University Medal Finalist (2013)
    • J.R. Dorfman Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research (2013)
  • The State of Maryland
    • Howard P. Rawlings Grant (2010–12)
    • Maryland Delegates Grant (2010–12)

Research Experience

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Harvard University
    • Optical Follow-Up of Gravitational Wave Events (2013 - 2018)
  • REU Summer Research Internship, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    • Infrared Spectroscopy of Blazars (2012)
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, The University of Maryland, College Park
    • Numerical Simulations of Accretion Flows (2012 - 2013)
    • X-Ray Spectroscopy of Active Galactic Nuclei (2010 - 2012)
    • Visualizations of Black Hole Accretion Flows (2010)
  • CRESST Summer Research Internship, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
    • Visualizations of Merging Black Hole Binaries (2011)

Observational Experience

  • Blanco Telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile
    • DECam – DES-GW LIGO Follow-up (2017B Semester) – 20 hours
    • DECam – DES-GW LIGO Follow-up (2017A Semester) – 25 hours
    • DECam – DES-GW LIGO Follow-up (2016B Semester) – 50 hours
    • DECam – DES-GW LIGO Follow-up (2015B Semester) – 30 hours
  • Magellan Telescope, Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
    • Clay 6.5m – LDSS3-C – 3 nights
    • Baade 6.5m – IMACS – 8 nights
  • MMT, Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, USA
    • BlueChannel – 3 nights

Mentoring Experience

  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA Research Advisor for Undergraduates
    • Mahlet Shiferaw – Galaxy Catalogs for GW/EM Targeted Follow-Up (2017)
    • Samuel Liu – Data Science Techniques for Light Curve Analysis (2016)

Teaching Experience

  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA Graduate Teaching Fellow
    • Astronomy 16 - Stellar and Planetary Astronomy (Spring 2016)
    • Astronomy 200 - Radiative Processes (Spring 2014)
  • University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland USA Undergraduate Teaching Assistant
    • Astronomy 100 - Introduction to Astronomy (Fall 2011 - Spring 2013)
    • Astronomy 120 - Introductory Astrophysics (Fall 2012; Grader)

Publication Summary

As of Sep 10, 2018 I am an author on 32 refereed publications (7 as first author), my h-index is 23 and my refereed publications have 1972 citations.

A complete publications list can be found on this page or as a PDF version.

Presentation Summary

As of Sep 10, 2018 I have given 26 presentations of which 23 have been talks and 3 have been posters. A complete listing of talks and posters can be found in the PDF Version of my CV. A PDF Version of just presentations can be found here.

References

  • Prof. Edo Berger (e-mail: eberger@cfa.harvard.edu; phone: +617-495-7914)
    Professor, Astronomy, Harvard University

  • Prof. Brian Metzger (e-mail: bdm2129@columbia.edu; phone: +212-854-9702)
    Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Columbia University

  • Prof. Daniel E. Holz (e-mail: dholz@uchicago.edu; phone: +773-834-3306)
    Associate Professor, KICP, The University of Chicago

  • Prof. Daniel Eisenstein (e-mail: deisenstein@cfa.harvard.edu; phone: +617-495-7530)
    Professor, Astronomy, Harvard University