About me

Hi! I’m Deno. I’ve wanted to be an astronomer since I was 5, and so far I haven’t been convinced to quit. In fact, according to my mother, my first word was light. Go figure.

I am a 6th 7th year graduate student postdoc in astronomy at the University of California at Santa Cruz, having graduated with my PhD from the University of Florida in 2017. Currently I am working with Professor Andy Skemer at UCSC on several instrumentation projects with the end goal of discovering new exoplanets and characterizing known exoplanets’ atmospheres. I am learning about adaptive optics (AO) instrumentation, and I hope to push hard at the boundaries of what’s possible with high-contrast direct imaging.

I am trained in the dark arts of opto-mechanical design and have oodles of hands-on experience with cryogenic NIR instrumentation. I am skilled in optical as well as mechanical design in the near IR and optical wavebands. I use ZEMAX for my optical work and SolidWorks for my mechanical work. I’m also a 3D printer guru. My former lab at UF has a MakerBot Replicator 2 and Replicator 2X, both of which I’ve stripped down and repaired many times.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel and work at the Gran Telescopio Canarias, located on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. While there, I’ve worked on CIRCE, our 1 tonne 1.0 – 2.5 micron imager/polarimeter/spectrometer. I have also been a part of the MIRADAS Team since 2012, and continue to be a consortium member.


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