About Me

I completed my Ph.D. in computational astrophysics under the advising of Professor Brian Chaboyer at Dartmouth College. For much of the last two years, I have also been working jointly at the South African Astronomical Observatory with Dr. Shazrene Mohamed. I defended my dissertation on July 10th, 2018, and will be beginning my postdoc in galactic archeology at Australian National University with Martin Asplund in September.

My research highlights inadequacies in modern theoretical stellar evolution, particularly regarding uncertainties in the physical assumptions invoked in stellar models and the ineffectiveness of treating 1-D convection as an extension of the solar formalism. In my dissertation, I provide a suite of statistical methods, modeling techniques, and software tools designed to mitigate these deficits. I demonstrate the impact of metallicity on mixing prescriptions, present empirically calibrated convective mixing length parameters for eight stellar objects, and present a software package designed to translate stellar evolutionary information into particle distributions which can serve as initial conditions for 3-D stellar dynamical simulations. The research contributing to my doctorate comprises four studies which advance the utility of stellar evolution codes, especially DSEP (The Dartmouth Stellar Evolution Program) and MESA (Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics). Three of the chapters have appeared in (or been accepted to) the Astrophysical Journal

I attended Bucknell University from 2009 to 2013 and received Bachelor of Science degrees in both physics and mathematics. Since my undergraduate sophomore year, I have participated in a number of competitive summer research programs, workshops, and conferences. During the summer of 2011, I analyzed the emission patterns of three blazars at Bucknell University's REU program and presented my work at AAS the following winter. During the summer of 2012, I tested PSF (point spread function) fitting responses in prototype software at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory under the direction of Dr. John Marriner. In June of 2014, I presented a poster on photometry of metal-poor stars at AAS, and I attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computational Science the following October.

I spent the summer of 2015 at MIT working on computational physics problems as a software engineer for Lincoln Laboratory. Following this, I participated in a week-long intensive course in stellar evolution and MESA-programming hosted at UCSB.

In the winter of 2015, I had a first-author publication accepted in the Astrophysical Journal and officially earned my M.S. in Physics and Astronomy from Dartmouth. I presented my work on this publication at January's AAS meeting and received an honorable mention in the Chambliss Astronomy Achievement graduate student poster contest. In May through July of 2016, I defended and passed my thesis proposal, attended the Cool Stars 19 conference hosted in Uppsala, Sweden, and participated in a course on parallel programming and supercomputing hosted by the Center for Scientific Computing in Finland.

In January through March of 2017, I served as a teaching assistant for Dartmouth's astronomy Foreign Studies Program (FSP) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. While at UCT, I gave talks for the National Astrophysics and Space Science Program (NASSP) summer school and the BANG stellar astrophysics group at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). I have since been collaborating on and off site at SAAO throughout the 2017--2018 academic year.

My observing experience includes training on the 1m and 1.9m telescopes in Sutherland, South Africa. I headed a 7-day observing run in July of 2017 on behalf of colleagues in the UK, and I was priciple investigator on an accepted observing proposal for time on the 1.9m. I completed that run in Novemeber of 2017.

Throughout January of this year, I visited and gave seminars at several institutes across Europe, including Rome Observatory, Radboud University, KU Leuven, Konkoly Observatory, and Lund Observatory. I have recently finished a temporary visiting residence at Konkoly, sponsored by Maria Lugaro and Laszlo Molnar, and initiated projects with their group. I have lectured for NASSP as an invited speaker in South Africa and given a public outreach lecture at SAAO at the end of February.

Before moving to Australia, I will join Maria Lugaro's group again in Konkoly for another temporary residence, where I hope to collaborate on model development for variable stars.

I have been named the recipient of Dartmouth's Alumni Research Award (June 2017), the Neukom Institute for Computational Science travel grant (December 2017), the Dartmouth Graduate Student Council Travel Scholarship, and others.

My background and work experience are primarily in theory and software development. I spend most of my time operating and contributing to large codes, and I develop with several languages daily (Python, Fortran, bash, Perl, awk, IRAF, LaTeX, C, and others). My repertoire is always expanding. When I'm not coding, I am heavily involved in women's advocacy. I also enjoy dancing, skiing, and hiking with my dog.

Contact

Meridith.Joyce.GR@Dartmouth.edu

meridith@saao.ac.za

315 Wilder Lab, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA 03755

South African Astronomical Observatory, Observatory Rd, Obs, Cape Town, South Africa 7925