Research Interests

I am an observational astrophysicist, primarily working in the infrared. My research interests include variable stars, dwarf galaxies, globular clusters, and stellar evolution. I received my PhD at Iowa State University under the direction of Massimo Marengo. Now, I am a Postdoctoral Research fellow at Florida Atlantic University, working with Ata Sarajedini.

My thesis work involved using RR Lyrae stars as high-precision distance indicators, and as a foundation for a Population II path on the cosmic distance ladder. As part of this work, I have been analyzing Spitzer Space Telescope data from the Carnegie RR Lyrae Program. RR Lyrae stars are abundant everywhere in the galaxy, but in my thesis I focused on those found in globular clusters in order to calibrate the period-luminosity relation.

Publications

For a full list of my publications, see my ADS page here

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For first author papers only, see here

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Teaching and Outreach

I am very committed to teaching and involving the local community in astronomy. At Iowa State, I taught recitation style introductory astronomy classes (Astro 120: Solar System Astronomy; Astro 150: Stars and Galaxies) and an introductory astronomy lab class (Astro 125L). I also served as an AAS Astronomy Ambassador.

At Iowa State, I led the astronomy outreach effort by organizing monthly public nights at our Planetarium. I developed and presented Planetarium Shows targeted to a general audience and performed hands-on demonstrations to members of the local community each month.

One of the most important aspects of astronomy outreach is engaging young kids, particularly those that are historically underrepresented, in science. With this in mind, I have participated in the SciGirls camp at the Science Center of Iowa, and organized an outreach event for the Maize project, a Latino youth culturally based leadership program.

Contact

Email: neeleyj@fau.edu

Office: SE 440, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431