Research Interests

Atmospheric Evolution: geological t ~ Gyrs

Oza et al. 2019B and Oza & Mordasini in prep.

Sodium and Potassium Exoplanet Transmission Spectroscopy Simulator

Prometheus: Gebek & Oza in prep. Simulates the Na & K doublets for any number density profile. The gas profile at the exoplanet system can behave as hydrostatic, hydrodynamic, or non-thermal.

Planetary Evolution driven by Atmospheric Escape

Completo: Oza & Mordasini in prep. We follow the evolution of planets on a population level from formation to destruction by employing a 1-D thermodynamic model. Key questions include addressing the radius gap in the Kepler data by atmospheric escape. Models which I am developing.

Exoplanet atmosphere characterization: Direct Imaging

Besides searching for evidence for upper-atmosphere escape, one can study the lower-atmosphere of a planet through direct-detection techniques using adaptive-optics on very large apertures such as the LBT. Since these planets are very young (less than 100 Myr), they emit most of their flux in the mid-infrared, for which the UVA instrument LMIRcam, is optimized. Directly imaged planets make up roughly 1% of all observed exoplanets. Characterizing the atmospheres of these planets is only beginning and so developing instruments that can discern their physical properties is crucial. I previously worked with Professor Mike Skrutskie to build a slit mask enabling direct spectroscopy in the IR . Currently, I am involved with the LEECH collaboration to continue an ongoing effort to characterize these young, supermassive Jupiters.

Exomoon chase

I lead a chase for rocky exomoons using ground-based and space-based instruments. Pictured above is the 3.5-m telescope at the Apache Point Observatory, the first instrument we used for this program in 2013.


During my PhD thesis on Europa & Ganymede's Exosphere, I also worked in our space instrumentation laboratory, LATMOS, where we are developing an application for a sensitive exosphere instrument using nanotechnology. Pictured above is our Carbon Nanotube Electron Gun (CNTeg) which is capable of emitting a stable current of 100 microAmps with less than 10 milliwatts of power.