Astronomy & Space Sciences
I am a Ph.D. candidate working with Prof. Dong Lai on astrophysical dynamics. I earned my bachelor's degree in 2018 from the University of California, Los Angeles. In the summer and fall of 2022, I was a Graduate Fellow at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California. I expect to graduate in the spring of 2024.
My current research focus is the evolution of planetary systems around evolved stars and white dwarfs. I am interested in a variety of topics in stellar and planetary astrophysics, such as the dynamics of star clusters, tidally interacting binaries, star-planet mergers, planetesimal reservoirs, and interstellar comets.
From 2020 to 2022, I served in the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly as Field Representative for Astronomy and Space Sciences and as a Voting Member for the Division of Physical Sciences. I am currently an organizing committee member for the annual Emerging Researchers in Exoplanet Science symposium.
In my spare time, I have played clarinet and saxophone with the Cornell University Wind Symphony and the Ithaca Concert Band. I also have sung in the Cornell University Chorale.
Advisor: Professor Dong Lai
- C. E. O’Connor, B. Liu, D. Lai. 'Enhanced Lidov-Kozai migration and the formation of the transiting giant planet WD1856+534b.' MNRAS, 501, 507-514. 2021. https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2021MNRAS.501..507O/abstract
- C. E. O’Connor, D. Lai. 'High-eccentricity migration of planetesimals around polluted white dwarfs.' MNRAS, 498, 4005-4020. 2020. https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020MNRAS.498.4005O/abstract
- C. E. O'Connor, D. Lai, D. Z. Seligman. 'On the pollution of white dwarfs by exo-Oort cloud comets.' 2023, MNRAS, 524, 6181. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stad2281
- C. E. O'Connor, L. Bildsten, M. Cantiello, D. Lai. 'Giant Planet Engulfment by Evolved Giant Stars: Light Curves, Asteroseismology, and Survivability.' 2023, ApJ, 950, 128. https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/acd2d4
- C. E. O'Connor, J. Teyssandier, D. Lai. 'Secular chaos in white-dwarf planetary systems: origins of metal pollution and short-period planetary companions.' 2022, MNRAS, 513, 4178-4195. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac1189