Kurahashi Neilson circa 2012

Professor Kurahashi Neilson's research interest is in experimental neutrino astroparticle physics.

She obtained her PhD by "listening" for very high energy neutrinos that originated from outside our galaxy in the ocean in the Bahamas [1]. Despite being a particle physics graduate student, she studied things like the shortcomings of ambient noise models in the deep ocean [2], and the "snapping shrimp," a crustacean with a weirdly large asymmetrical claw that produce loud sounds in the ocean.

Snapping shrimp, important for particle physics

She decided that she had enough of tropical sun, and joined the IceCube experiment, a neutrino observatory operating at the geographical South Pole [3]. There, she is interested in resolving galactic and extragalactic astrophysical sources that emit neutrinos at energies above TeV (10 to the 12 eV), and was even involved in some exciting papers [4].

She joined Drexel University as an assistant professor in 2014. Her current main focus is to analyze data from the completed IceCube detector to resolve sources spatially, particularly in the southern sky. She is also interested in outreach activities targeting various audiences, as well as mentoring students in STEM, particularly of underrepresented populations.

South Pole, important for particle physics

Prof. Kurahashi Neilson got her undergraduate degree at University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD at Stanford University. She spent 4 years as a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she gained an appreciation for the Midwest.

[1] Physical Review D 82, 073006 (2010)
[2] Physical Review D 78, 092001 (2008)
[3] http://icecube.wisc.edu/
[4] Science 342, 1242856 (2013)