Michelle Vick

Astronomy & Space Sciences


I am a sixth year graduate student working with Professor Dong Lai. Most of my Ph.D. work concerns how tides shape eccentric systems, ranging from compact object binaries to migrating giant planets. Recently, my work has focused on how dynamical tides alter the gravitational wave signal of an eccentric, coalescing neutron star binary. I have also studied how chaotic dynamical tides strengthen the case for hot Jupiter formation via high-eccentricity migration.

I am currently supported by a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship. I was a TA for Astro 2202 and 1102 in 2015-2016.

Research Focus

Advisor: Professor Dong Lai


M. Vick & D. Lai, "Tidal Effects in in Eccentric Coalescing Neutron Star Binaries," 2019 PRD, 100, 063001.

M. MacLeod, M. Vick, D. Lai, & J. M. Stone, "Polygram Stars: Resonant Tidal Excitation of Fundamental Oscillation Modes in Asynchronous Stellar Coalescence," 2019 ApJ, 877, 28.

M. Vick, D. Lai, & K. R. Anderson, "Chaotic Tides in Migrating Gas Giants: Forming Hot and Transient Warm Jupiters via Lidov-Kozai Migration," 2019 MNRAS, 484, 5645.

M. Vick & D. Lai, "Dynamical Tides in Highly Eccentric Binaries: Chaos, Dissipation, and Quasi-Steady State," 2018, 476, 482.

M. Vick, D. Lai, & J. Fuller, "Tidal Dissipation and Evolution of White Dwarfs Around Massive Black Holes: an Eccentric Path to Tidal Disruption,"