Close to our Sun, I use survey observations of cool, low-mass red dwarfs to measure the structure and kinematics of the Milky Way’s disk. Cool, red dwarfs, known as M dwarfs, are the most common type of star, far outnumbering stars like our Sun. Their sheer abundance makes them the best tracer for studying the nearby properties of the Galaxy.
Much further away from the Sun (nearly 100 times more distant and almost 1 million light years away) I am leading a search for the most distant M giant stars. These stars are nearly 100,000 times brighter than M dwarfs, and are the final evolutionary stage for a star like our Sun. My group has found the most distant stars in our Galaxy to date, and we are actively searching for more.