Erika M. Holmbeck
eholmbec (at) nd.edu
Graduate Research Assistant
University of Notre Dame
B.S. Astrophysics, University of California Los Angeles
I am currently a graduate student in the Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame in both the Theoretical Nuclear Astrophysics and Galactic Archaeology—or, as I like to call it, Galactic Genealogy—groups.
My research interests include the formation of the heavy elements, with a particular focus on the creation of actinides (Thorium and Uranium) in the Universe.
I observe and study metal-poor, chemically-enhanced stars with high-resolution spectroscopy. I have experience in high-resolution spectroscopy and data processing with telescopes such as the 2.5-m Irénée du Pont Telescope (Las Campanas Observatory), the 2.7-m Harlan J. Smith Telescope (McDonald Observatory), and the 6.5-m Magellan – Clay Telescope (Las Campanas Observatory).
In addition, I run nucleosynthesis simulations to investigate how elements are made through rapid neutron-capture (the r-process). These simulations require detailed understanding of the nuclear physics input as well as the astrophysical environment in which r-process nucleosynthesis takes place.