I've had a great team of scientists to work with at Lehigh.  Below are the current and past members of my team.  I have also compiled an advising statement for my students.

Emma Page

Emma is a second-year PhD student at Lehigh, with a BA degree from Austin College. She is interested in the discovery and analysis of exoplanets.  

Anna Baum


Anna is a second-year PhD student at Lehigh. She graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Astronomy & Astrophysics and minors in Physics and English. Her primary research interests are stellar magnetic activity and asteroseismology.

Panagiotis Marios Christodoulou

Marios is a 4th-year PhD student at Lehigh, with a BS in Physics and a BA in Music Composition also from Lehigh. He has been working on extracting rotational periods of slowly rotating asteroids using photometry from the KELT survey. Other than Physics, Marios's interests include music, linguistics and travelling.

Somayeh Khakpash

Somayeh received her PhD from Lehigh in 2020.  She simulated microlensing detection of exoplanets with both the upcoming Roman space telescope, and the ground-based Rubin LSST survey.  She applied machine learning techniques to classify and extract physical parameters of the planetary systems.  She is also working as the coordinator of the microlensing subgroup of Rubin LSST Transients and Variable Stars (TVS) science collaboration focusing on providing the required scientific input for determining the final observing strategy of the Rubin telescope.  Somayeh writes for the website Staryab, which is a Farsi-language version of the astrobites website.  Somayeh is currently a postdoc at the University of Delaware, working with Professor Federica Bianco.

Xinyu Yao

Xinyu received his PhD from Lehigh in 2020.  He worked on combining ground-based transit survey observations like KELT with space-based surveys like TESS to discover long-period transiting exoplanets.  He is also a member of the KELT team and organized follow-up observations of KELT transit candidates.  Xinyu is currently a postdoc at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.

Jonathan Labadie-Bartz

Jonathan Labadie-Bartz received his PhD from Lehigh in 2018.  He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Sao Paulo. His primary research interests involve studying massive stars, particularly those that show variability caused by rapid rotation, disk formation, pulsation, binarity, and/or magnetic fields. He is also involved in the discovery of transiting giant exoplanets with the KELT survey, leading the discovery of KELT-22Ab.

Knicole Colón

Knicole Colón was a postdoc at Lehigh from 2013-2015, working on exoplanet discovery and exoplanet atmosheres.  She is currently an Astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Her research interests include the discovery and atmospheric characterization of transiting exoplanets. She is the James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Project Scientist for Exoplanet Science, the Project Scientist for the Pandora SmallSat mission, and the Director of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Science Support Center. She previously served as the Deputy Operations Project Scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope.



Joshua Pepper  |  413 Deming Lewis Lab |   16 Memorial Drive East
Bethlehem, PA 18015  |  |  (610) 758-3649