Mike earned his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1980. He did Post-Doc work at the University of Minnesota and Kitt Peak National Observatory. He was the Director of the Cincinnati Observatory (1986-1998), a public outreach facility formerly operated by the University of Cincinnati and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Observatory Center (2002-present), now a non-profit corporation. Mike is currently at the Department of Physics, University of Cincinnati and has also been with SSI since August 2005. Mike's main areas of research are in the formation and evolution of protostellar disks, solar system formation, comets, and interplanetary dust particles.
His current work is focused primarily on the nature of "transitional" and "pre-transitional" disks. These object are young stellar disks with zones that are cleared of material, and where the clearing is most likely due to the presence of planetary-mass objects. Recent targets of investigation include the "gapped" disks of V1247 Ori and SAO 206462, which were investigated using a combination of interferometry, coronagraphy, and spectrophotometry. The "gaps" in these systems seem to contain material with spiral patters indicative of planet-disk interactions.