Current Members

UCSD OIR Laboratory
Shelley Wright

Shelley Wright
Associate Professor

Shelley’s research focus is on developing innovative astronomical instrumentation and observations using some of the world's largest optical telescopes. Shelley is the Principal Investigator of the UCSD Optical and Infrared Laboratory.

Jerome Maire

Jérôme Maire
Project Scientist

Jérôme is interested in developing high-angular resolution instrumentation, high-contrast imaging techniques and high-time resolution astronomy.

Saavidra Perera

Saavidra Perera
Post-Doctoral Researcher

Saavidra is interested in optical atmospheric turbulence characterisation and correction techniques for the purpose of astronomy. Currently, she is working on the pyramid wavefront sensor for the Gemini Planet Imager upgrade.

Personal webpage

Nils-Erik Bjorn Rundquist

Nils-Erik Bjorn Rundquist
Software Engineer

Nils graduated with a B.S. in Physics with an Astrophysics specialization at UC San Diego. He develops the instrument simulation software for IRIS, OSIRIS, and Liger, and works in the design and development of the data reduction systems for IRIS and Liger.

Personal webpage

Aaron Brown

Aaron Brown
Research and Development Engineer

Aaron specializes in mechanical engineering and has a diverse background in complex fuel systems and aerospace. He is developing instrumentation for SETI, Keck, and TMT.

Maren Cosens

Maren Cosens
Physics Graduate Student

Maren is a 6th year graduate student interested in how star forming regions evolve with and influence their host galaxies over cosmic time. She is leading a detailed study of the conditions in local star forming regions using Keck KCWI and investigating the scaling relationships of local and distant star forming regions. Maren is also working on astronomical instrumentation with Keck Liger.

Sanchit Sabhlok

Sanchit Sabhlok
Physics Graduate Student

Sanchit is a 5th year graduate student from India interested in galaxy formation. Sanchit is using Keck KCWI data to explore the circumgalactic medium of distant quasar. He also has experience working on the Apollo Project.

James Wiley

James Wiley
Physics Graduate Student

James is a 4th year graduate student working on instrumentation for PANOSETI and Keck Liger. He also is exploring science simulations for Liger and investigating Keck KCWI data sets.

Sonata Simonaitis-Boyd

Sonata Simonaitis-Boyd
Physics Undergraduate Student

Sonata is a 2nd year undergraduate studying astrophysics and has been analyzing Hubble Space Telescope images studying the environments around distant quasars.

Affiliate Members


Quinn Konopacky

Quinn Konopacky
Associate Professor

Quinn uses high resolution techniques on large ground-based telescopes to study star and planet formation and evolution.

Andrea Zonca

Andrea Zonca
Computational Scientist

Andrea has previous experience in Cosmic Microwave Background data analysis and has a strong expertise in High Performance Computing and software development in Python, he joined the team to help develop the IRIS Data Reduction System.

Clarissa Do-o

Clarissa Do-o
Graduate Student

Clarissa is a 2nd year astrophysics graduate student. She studies exoplanet orbital dynamics and works on exoplanet instrumentation. Her current work is on the pyramid wavefront sensor upgrade of the Gemini Planet Imager 2.0 (GPI 2.0), an instrument that aims to directly image and characterize exoplanets.

 Jayke Nguyen,

Jayke Nguyen,
Graduate Student

Jayke is a 1st year graduate student working with Quinn Konopacky developing the new wavefront sensor upgrade for the Gemini Planet Imager 2.0. Beyond instrumentation, his research interests include exoplanet detection/characterization and protoplanetary disk dynamics.

Ben Sappey

Ben Sappey
Graduate Student

Ben is a 2nd-year graduate student interested in the direct detection of exoplanets and exoplanet atmospheric composition. He works with the KPIC Collaboration and will shortly begin working on the calibration unit for the upcoming High-resolution Infrared Spectrograph for Exoplanet Characterization (HISPEC) instrument planned for Keck.