B.Sc. Bogazici University (1999)
Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin (2006)
I am interested in identifying and characterizing the white dwarf population in the solar neighborhood, including single and double white dwarf systems. We have recently identified binary white dwarf systems with orbital periods as short as 12 minutes. These systems will merge in a few million years. The LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) mission will detect gravitational waves from these systems, enabling precise constraints on their evolution.
I am also interested in the formation and the fate of planetary systems around Sun-like stars. The short main-sequence lifetimes of intermediate-mass stars and the small radii of remnant white dwarfs imply that their planetary systems can be effectively studied after the hosts have been transformed into white dwarfs. Along with pulsars, white dwarfs also provide a unique opportunity to study the effects of the late stages of stellar evolution on planetary systems. I use ground- and space-based telescopes to search for planetary companions and debris disks around white dwarfs.