Riley is a third year Physics B.S. with a minor in Geosciences and certificate in Geographic Information Systems. Since joining the Bennett Lab in April 2019, she has helped design, machine, clean, and use the UHV chamber systems and sample holder pieces for space weathering of icy moon analogs, analyzed affects of particle size distribution, reference material, and sample cup repacking on spectra of regolith simulants of airless bodies, and utilized 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. Her research interests include planetary geoscience, astrobiology, and instrumentation.
Outside of the classroom Riley is active on campus through her involvement as a Team Leader for Burnett Honors College, the Treasurer for the Women in Physics Society, the President for the Society of Physics Students, and an ambassador on the Student Undergraduate Research Council. After completing her undergraduate studies, Riley plans to pursue a PhD in Planetary Science and hopes to work as a researcher at a university or an institution such as NASA or the Lunar and Planetary Institute. In her free time, Riley enjoys hanging out with friends at Lake Claire, going to F45 group exercise classes, and cheering on her fellow Knights at UCF sporting events.