Graduate Students List


Zac Bailey Graduate Student

Yihan (Miranda) Kong Graduate Student

Derek Sikorski Graduate Student

Zachary Werber Graduate Student

Yuchen (Elina) Zhang Graduate Student

M.S. 2022, University College London
B.S. 2021, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor


BS Physics (w/ concentration in astronomy and astrophysics), 2022, University of Delaware
B.S, 2021, University of California, Los Angeles
B.S. Physics 2022, Rhodes College

Willem Hoogendam NSF Graduate Research Fellow

BS Physics and Mathematics 2022, Calvin College
Engineering - Institut d'Optique, Paris-Saclay University

Rena Lee NSF Graduate Research Fellow

M.S. Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
B.A. Astronomy (Honors), Vassar College
B.A. Cognitive Science, Vassar College
Graduate Student
B.S. Astrophysics 2021, Agnes Scott College
B.A. Physics, 2022, Colby College


Federica Chiti Graduate Student

BSc (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics, 2021 University of Dundee

Dhvanil Desai Graduate Student

B.S. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2020, The Ohio State University
B.S. 2020, University of Washington
B.S. 2020, University of Washington
B.S. 2021, Cornell University
Ph.D. Topic: “Adaptive secondary mirror testing and development”
Committee: Michael Connelley (Chair), Mark Chun, Jonathan Williams, Olivier Guyon, Paul Lucey

Grey Murphree NSF Graduate Research Fellow

B.S. 2021, Rhodes College

Aldo Sepulveda NSF Graduate Research Fellow, ΦKΦ Graduate Fellow

BS Geophysics (highest honors)
BS Astrophysics (highest honors)
(magna cum laude)
University of California, Los Angeles, 2020
MS Astronomy
University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2023
Ph.D. Topic: “Developments in Direct Imaging: Implementing Deformable Mirror Upgrade and Characterizing Protoplanetary Disks”
Committee: Michael Bottom, Jonathan Williams (Chair), Michael Liu, Colby Haggerty, Paul Lucey
MPhys Astrophysics 2021, University of Edinburgh


Alexa Anderson Graduate Student

B.S. Astrophysics, 2020, Yale University
M.S. Astronomy, 2022, University of Hawai'i
Ph.D. Topic: “Looking Inward: M-band Spectroscopy of Protoplanetary Disks”
Committee: Jonathan Williams (Chair), Geoff Blake, Adwin Boogert, Gary Huss, Mike Liu

Sage Constantinou Graduate Student

Mitchell Dennis Graduate Student

B.S. Physics 2020, University of Kentucky
B.S. Computer Science 2020, University of Kentucky
B.S. Mathematics 2020, University of Kentucky

Kenji Emerson Graduate Student

Tze Goh Graduate Student

B.A. Astrophysics, 2018, Columbia University, magna cum laude

Jonathan Lee Graduate Student

Suchitra Narayanan PhD Candidate, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, P.E.O. Scholar

B.S. Chemical Engineering, 2020, University of California, Berkeley
B.A. Astrophysics, 2020, University of California, Berkeley
M.S. Astronomy, 2022, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Ph.D. Astronomy, 2025 (expected), University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Ph.D. Topic: “Organosulfur Chemistry in the Birthplaces of Planets”
Committee: Jonathan P. Williams (Chair), Karin I. Öberg (Co-Chair); A.C. Adwin Boogert, Daniel Huber, Gary Huss (External)

Ruihan (Suzanne) Zhang Graduate Student

B.S. 2020, Illinois Wesleyan University
Ph.D. Topic: “HAPA: Hybrid Atmospheric Phase Analysis A Wavefront Sensing Technique for Improving the Adaptive Optics Correction of Fainter Stars ”
Committee: Christoph Baranec (Chair), Mark Chun, Richard Dekany (Caltech), Michael Liu, Peter Sadowski (Dept. of Information and Computer Sciences)


Ian Cunnyngham Graduate Student

B.S. Astronomy, B.A Physics 2012, University of Hawaiʻi Hilo

Jason Hinkle Graduate Student

M.S. Astronomy, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
B.S. Physics, University of Maryland
B.S. Astronomy, University of Maryland

Jiayi Liu Graduate Student

B.S., 2019, University of Science and Technology of China

Miles Lucas Graduate Student

B.S. Physics (Minors Astronomy, Computer Science) Iowa State University of Science and Technology 2019
Ph.D. Topic: “Optical Imaging Polarimetry of Planet-Forming Regions at Solar System Scales with SCExAO/VAMPIRES”
Committee: Michael Bottom (Chair), Olivier Guyon (NAOJ), Michael Liu, Jonathan Williams, Kyungim Baek (Dept. of Information and Computer Sciences)

Nicholas Saunders Graduate Student

B.S. Astronomy & Physics, University of Washington
B.A. Comparative Literature, University of Washington

Jingwen Zhang Graduate Student, NASA FINESST Fellow

M.S. 2019 Peking University, China
B.S. 2016 Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China


Casey Brinkman NSF Graduate Research Fellow

Bachelor of Science, 2017, University of Vermont
Ph.D. Topic: “Understanding the Diversity of Rocky Planet Compositions, and their Connection to Host Star Abundances”
Committee: Dan Huber (Chair), Lauren Weiss, Eric Gaidos, Jennifer van Saders, Diana Valencia, Mike Bottom, and Richard Zeebe

Michael Nassir Graduate Student

Bryan Yamashiro Graduate Student

B.S. 2018, University of Hawaii

Lukas Zalesky Graduate Student

B.S. 2018, College of Charleston


Connor Auge Graduate Student

B.S. 2017, Northern Arizona University
M.S. 2019, University of Hawai'i

Aaron Do Graduate Student

M.S. Astronomy 2019, University of Hawaii
Ph.D. Topic: “Hawai'i Supernova Flows”
Committee: Ben Shappee (Chair), John Tonry, Brent Tully, David Rubin, Istvan Szapudi, Jason Kumar

James Ou Graduate Research Assistant

Ph.D. Topic: “Mass Distributions of Binary Asteroids in Main Belt Families”
Committee: Christoph Baranec (Chair), Bobby Bus, Rob Jedicke, Nader Haghighipour, Paul G. Lucey


Erica Bufanda NASA Fellow (Future Investigator), Soroptimist Fellow, PhD Candidate

B.S. Astrophysics 2015, UC Santa Cruz
M.S. Astronomy 2019, University of Hawaii
Ph.D. Topic: “Vehicles to the Past: Characterizing the Activity of Long Period Comets”
Committee: Karen Meech (Chair)