I am currently a Ph.D. student in Planetary Science at Caltech. My primary research interests involve astrochemistry and my thesis advisor is Prof. Geoff Blake. I perform both modeling and observations of circumstellar disks. My current focus is on the fate of carbon and nitrogen reserviors throughout disk evolution and the early stages of planet formation.
My research seeks to determine the availability of important chemical elements in disks of gas and dust around young stars, the birthplace of planets. This work addresses broader questions regarding the materials and conditions necessary to create our own solar system as well as the wide variety of planetary systems observed around other stars. By studying the chemistry of planet formation we hope to understand our own origins and the likelihood of forming Earth-like planets.
Despite the fact that carbon is among the most abundant elements in the universe, it is actually quite rare in the Earth. The Earth contains only 1 carbon atom for every 10,000 silicon atoms! Interstellar dust, the base ingredient for our planet, is carbon-rich in composition containing carbon atoms at a ratio of 6:1 relative to silicon. In its journey from dust to planet the Earth had to lose a lot of carbon. The fact that primitive meteorites are also carbon-poor relative to interstellar dust could indicate that at least a portion of the carbon loss occurred prior to their formation and therefore early in the planet formation process. For this reason, we investigate carbon chemistry in planet-forming regions known as protoplanetary disks. See below and my Publications page for more details.
There is a discrepancy between the abundances of carbon and nitrogen incorporated into solid solar-system bodies. Meteorites and comets contain a lower fraction of the total available nitrogen compared to carbon suggesting that these elements did not share the same chemical and/or dynamical path throughout disk evolution. We explore these divergent carbon and nitrogen pathways by comparing the chemistry of protoplanetary disks of different ages.
Ongoing & Past Research Projects:
Probing the Gas Content of Late-Stage Protoplanetary Disks with N2H+.
D. E. Anderson, G. A. Blake, E. A. Bergin, K. Zhang, J. M. Carpenter, K. R. Schwarz, J. Huang, K. I. Öberg.
Submitted to The Astrophysical Journal.
Destruction of Refractory Carbon in Protoplanetary Disks.
D. E. Anderson, E. A. Bergin, G. A. Blake, F. J. Ciesla, R. Visser, J.-E. Lee.
The Astrophysical Journal, 845, 13, 2017. ADS
Characterization of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) emission lines for the
identification of chlorides, carbonates, and sulfates in salt/basalt mixtures for the
application to MSL ChemCam data.
D. E. Anderson, B. L. Ehlmann, O. Forni, S. M. Clegg, A. Cousin, N. H. Thomas, J. Lasue, D. M. Delapp, R. E. McInroy, O. Gasnault, M. D. Dyar, S. Schröder, S. Maurice, R. C. Wiens.
J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 122, 744, 2017. Open Access
New Constraints on the Sulfur Reservoir in the Dense Interstellar Medium Provided by
Spitzer Observations of S I in Shocked Gas.
D. E. Anderson, E. A. Bergin, S. Maret, V. Wakelam.
The Astrophysical Journal, 779, 141, 2013. ADS
Characterization of hydrogen in basaltic materials with laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for application to MSL ChemCam data.
N. H. Thomas, B. L. Ehlmann, D. E. Anderson, S. M. Clegg, O. Forni, S. Schröder, W. Rapin, P.-Y. Meslin, J. Lasue, D. M. Delapp, M. D. Dyar, O. Gasnault, R. C. Wiens, S. Maurice.
J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 123, 2018. Open Access
Unlocking CO Depletion in Protoplanetary Disks. I. The Warm Molecular Layer.
K. R. Schwarz, E. A. Bergin, L. I. Cleeves, K. Zhang, K. I. Öberg, G. A. Blake, D. Anderson.
The Astrophysical Journal, 856, 85, 2018. ADS
Herschel Observations of EXtraodinary Sources: Analysis of the HIFI 1.2 THz Wide
Spectral Survey Toward Orion KL II. Chemical Implications.
N. R. Crockett, E. A. Bergin, J. L. Neill, C. Favre, G. A. Blake, E. Herbst, D. E. Anderson, G. E. Hassel.
The Astrophysical Journal, 806, 239, 2015. ADS
Herschel Observations of EXtraordinary Sources: Analysis of the Full Herschel/HIFI
Molecular Line Survey of Sagittarius B2 (N).
J. L. Neill, E. A. Bergin, et al. (D. E. Anderson).
The Astrophysical Journal, 789, 8, 2014. ADS
Select LPSC Abstracts:
D. E. Anderson, B. L. Ehlmann, et al. Emission Lines Selected for the Identification of Chlorides, Carbonates, and Sulfates Dispersed in Basaltic Rock Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). 47th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference, March 2016, The Woodlands, TX.
N. H. Thomas, B. L. Ehlmann, S. M. Clegg, O. Forni, S. Schröder, D. E. Anderson, et al. Characterization of Hydrogen in Basaltic Materials with Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). 47th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference, March 2016, The Woodlands, TX.
D. E. Anderson, B. L. Ehlmann, S. Clegg. Quantification of Salt Anions Using Laser- Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). 46th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference, March 2015, The Woodlands, TX.
N. H. Thomas, B. L. Ehlmann, D. E. Anderson. Characterization of Hydrogen Abundance in LIBS Data. 46th Lunar & Planetary Science Conference, March 2015, The Woodlands, TX.
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, 2012 Double Major in Chemistry & Interdisciplinary Physics
Research advisor: Prof. Ted Bergin Astrochemical modeling, Herschel and Spitzer data analysis
Summer Internship 2011
Mentor: Dr. Aloysius Hepp Transition metal catalysts, SEM and EDX analysis
Ph.D., Planetary Science (in progress), Expected 2019 Master of Science, Planetary Science, May 2015 Thesis advisor: Prof. Geoff Blake Secondary research advisor: Prof. Bethany Ehlmann
Observational Astronomy Experience:
NRAO ALMA Data Reduction Visit, Feb. 2017
CARMA Summer School 2014
Teaching Assistant Experience:
Cosmochemistry, Ch/Ge 128 (Blake) Fall 2017
Atomic & Molecular Processes, Ge/Ay 132 (Blake) Fall 2016
Intro to the Solar System, Ge 103 (Brown) Spring 2016
Awards and Memberships:
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014-2017 American Astronomical Society Junior Member, 2016-Present American Chemical Society Student Member, 2010-2016
AAS National Meeting 2019, Seattle, WA (Dissertation Talk)
Astrochemistry Past, Present, & Future (2018), Pasadena, CA (Talk + 3rd place Poster Prize :) )
The Origin of Galaxies, Stars, and Planets in the Era of ALMA (2017), Pasadena, CA (Poster)
The Origins of Volatiles in Habitable Planets (2017), Ann Arbor, MI (Poster)
Origins of Solar Systems GRC/GRS 2017, Mt. Holyoke College, MA (Poster)
Astrochemistry VII, Puerto Varas, Chile (Poster)
DPS/EPSC 2016, Pasadena, CA (Talk)
Linking Exoplanet and Disk Compositions Workshop, Baltimore, MD (Poster)
LPSC 2016, The Woodlands, TX (Poster)
AAS National Meeting 2016, Kissimmee, FL (Talk)
Origins of Solar Systems GRC 2015, Mt. Holyoke College, MA (Poster)
LPSC 2015, The Woodlands, TX (Poster)
MSL ChemCam Instrument Team Meetings 2014-2016
Pasadena, CA - Orsay, France - Flagstaff, AZ (Talks)
Caltech Planetary Science Seminar 2015, 2016, 2017 (Talks)
Yuk Lunch Seminar (Talk)
Caltech Graduate Research Spotlight 2017, 2018 (Posters)Return to Publications
Current Address: (Caltech)
1200 E. California Blvd.
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