I work on developing the theoretical picture of the very early universe, sometimes utilizing the framework of string theory. The remarkable recent progress in observational cosmology presents a sharp challenge for theorists to build successful models to explain the data. Just as importantly, ideas for a quantum theory of gravity provide an arena for cosmological scenarios, particularly inflation or alternatives, to be formulated within a consistent theory of high energy physics.
My research currently focuses on observables with the potential to radically change the 'standard' inflationary model: primordial gravitational waves and non-Gaussianity. Both are observationally accessible ways in which inflation depends sensitively on very high energy physics, demonstrating the potential of cosmology to become our best observational probe of fundamental physics. I use data from both the Cosmic Microwave Background and the growth of large structures (galaxies, galaxy clusters) to propose and constrain ideas about the physics of the earliest times and highest energies.