Marcelle’s science interests are galaxy clusters and gravitational waves for cosmology. While clusters are one of the four traditional cosmological probes, gravitational waves are a promising new potential probe! Marcelle is pioneering the DES program to search for the optical counterpart of gravitational wave events from mergers of neutron stars and black holes. These events will be detected by the latest generation of GW detectors, the LIGO and VIRGO detectors, and will show up on DES data as a special type of short-lived point sources, known as “kilonovae”. Detection and study of kilonovae and other types of transient objects is the goal of the Transients and Moving Objects (TMO) Working Group in DES. Marcelle is one of the coordinators of this TMO group.
We asked Marcelle a few more questions — here’s what she had to say:
What is your secret talent?
All my talents seem to be related to studying science! As a kid I did try pursuing activities in arts and sports, but it soon became clear that I completely lack talent in those areas. I honestly don’t know what I would do with my life if science could not be a part of it.
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
Keep an open mind for scientific opportunities beyond your specific area of training or current subfield of interest. We never know what exciting new physics question will come up as we push the boundaries of our knowledge, or what new research avenues will become interesting due to technological advancements. (e.g. until now we didn’t have detectors sensitive enough to detect gravitational waves from merging neutron stars. Now we do, so we can try to use them to study dark energy!)