People

Principal Investigator

Dr. Christopher Bennett

Assistant Professor, Department of Physics

Bio
CV
https://planets.ucf.edu/
https://sciences.ucf.edu/physics/people/bennett-christopher/
E-mail: christopher.bennett@ucf.edu

Graduate Students

Amy LeBlue-DeBartola

4th Year Physics Major, Planetary Science Track
Joined Fall 2017

Bio

Projects:
• Formation of Biological Molecules in the Interstellar Medium, Comets & Icy Bodies
• Prebiotic Formation of Peptides in Meteorites & the Early Earth
• Hyperspectral Raman Mapping of Meteorites, Novel Techniques to Analyze Meteorites, Optical Properties of Meteorites & Simulants

Email: amye.lebleu@gmail.com or lebleu-debartola@knights.ucf.edu

Brian Ferrari

2nd Year Physics Major
Joined Spring 2016

Bio

Projects:
• Prediction of Optical Properties of Molecules by Ab Initio & DFT Calculations
• Measuring Electron Sputtering Desorption Yields from Icy Surfaces
•Irradiation of Astrophysically Relevant Ice Analogs
•Ionization & Fragmentation of Gas-Phase Species

Email: brian.ferrari [at] ucf.edu

Katie Slavicinska

2nd Year Physics Major, Planetary Science Track
Joined Fall 2019

Bio

Projects:
• Space Weathering of Airless Bodies
• Optical Properties of Meteorites & Simulants
• Role of Surfaces in Biopolymer Formation
• Measuring Electron Sputtering Desorption Yields from Icy Surfaces

Email: katerina.slavicinska [at] ucf.edu

Undergraduate Students

Sarah Swiersz
Remi Cantelas

Riley Havel

3rd Year Physics Major, Minor in Geosciences and Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
Joined Spring 2019

Bio

Projects:
• Design, machine, clean, and use ultra-high vacuum (UHV) chamber systems and sample holder pieces for space weathering of icy moon analogs
• Analyze affects of particle size distribution, reference material, and sample cup repacking on spectra of regolith simulants of airless bodies
• Utilize General Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System (GAMESS) and AutoGAMESS to calculate optimized geometries, vibrational frequencies, infrared intensities, and Raman activities of astrochemically relevant molecules

Past Students

Jonathan Thetford – Undergraduate
Michael Cintron – Undergraduate
Jonathan Sepulveda – Undergraduate
Katherine Taylor – Undergraduate
Francisco de Torres – Undergraduate