The Neutrino Group Members consist of two professors: Pantic and Svoboda, plus five postdoctoral researchers, eight graduate students, and a large number of undergraduate assistants. We work on individual experiments (e.g. ANNIE, SNO+, WATCHMAN) in addition to working on developing basic neutrino detection instrumentation (e.g. nanofiltration, photomultipliers, water-based liquid scintillator, fast electronics). We are also involved in the design of new experiments like DUNE and Theia. On this page we introduce ourselves and our work. 


Robert Svoboda


I have been working in the field of neutrino physics for a number of years, having built many large underground multi-purpose detectors (IMB, Super-Kamiokande, KamLAND, SNO+, DUNE, Theia) and also smaller experiments such as Double Chooz and ANNIE. I am interested in understanding neutrinos and their relationship to the Standard Model. Why is the neutrino mass scale so small? Do neutrinos interact with the Higgs? Is there a relationship between neutrino physics and the physics of dark matter? 

Emilija Pantic

Emilija Pantic.jpgIt is incredible that there is roughly five times more "Dark Matter" than normal matter in our universe. What the heck is it? I am interested in the nature of the dark matter and whether we can detect it directly in our laboratories. I spend much of my time on the DarkSide experiment, but I am also interested in cryogenic detector technology and work on the DUNE neutrino experiment and related measurements such as BACON and ACED.



Vincent Fischer

My current research focuses on the ANNIE and SNO+ experiments. I wasVincent Fischer.jpg involved in the construction and commissioning of ANNIE Phase 1 in 2016 and my work is now focused on the simulation, data analysis and the preparation of the next physics phase. In SNO+, I'm currently studying the possibility of performing a reactor antineutrino measurement with the detector in its scintillator phase. Previously a member of the Double Chooz, CeSOX and Nucifer collaborations, I have studied low energy neutrinos using liquid scintillator detectors for neutrino oscillation studies, supernovae pointing and reactor monitoring.


Tessa Johnson

Tessa Johnson.pngI am working on rare event detection with noble liquid detectors at UC Davis.  My research has included searching for exotic processes in double beta decay, precision neutron capture measurements and modeling, and direct dark matter searches.  She is currently focusing on the DarkSide-50 liquid argon dark matter search, including analysis, event reconstruction, and simulation of data.  She also works on precision measurements of liquid argon detector response to neutrons and development of the DarkSide-50 successor.


Leon Pickard

Leon Pickard.jpg

Previously I worked on T2K; a long baseline neutrino experiment located in Japan. Since moving to UC Davis I have begun work on THEIA (a potential multi-purpose neutrino detector in its very early design stages) and SNO+ (located 2100 m underground in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada). My main research interests and activities focus on understanding the fundamental nature of neutrinos: how do neutrinos interact with matter? Are neutrinos their own anti-particles? Is CP violated in the lepton sector? Do neutrinos obey a “normal” or “inverted” mass hierarchy?


Jingbo Wang

Jingbo Wang.jpgMy interests lie in the study of CP-violation of neutrinos in the future Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF). I am also interested in the precise measurement of the neutrino properties, such as their mass hierarchy and their Majorana mass. I previously joined the Large-Area Picosecond Photo-Detector (LAPPD) collaboration, pursuing the new generation photosensors for the future precision measurements of neutrino properties. My current research program focuses on the DUNE/Proto-DUNE and the ANNIE experiments. I will be working at CERN and participating in the Proto-DUNE overall construction, commissioning and data-taking in early 2017. In the ANNIE experiment, I’m currently working on the detector construction, data reconstruction and data analysis.

Graduate Students

Morgan Askins

Inspire HEP: M. Askins
Github: M. Askins

Morgan Askins.jpgMy current work is focused on the SNO+ water phase physics, which includes studies into exotic physics such as invisible nucleon decay through hidden extra dimensions. Prior work includes simulations and studies for LBNE and Hyper-Kamiokande water physics, building and running Watchman radionuclide detector, programming the Delta-V control systems for the SNO+ scintillator distillation plant, and ongoing work on the SNO+ quality assurance system (nicknamed Scout).


Steven Gardiner

Github: S. Gardiner

Steven Gardiner.jpgMy current research focuses on low- and medium-energy neutrino-nucleus interactions. In the low-energy regime (tens of MeV and below), I am particularly interested in supernova neutrino detection using next-generation experiments like DUNE. As part of an effort to simulate supernova events in DUNE, I have recently developed an event generator called MARLEY (Model of Argon Reaction Low-Energy Yields) for modeling low-energy neutrino scattering events in liquid argon. I work on medium-energy neutrino physics as a member of the ANNIE experiment. My ANNIE-related activities so far have focused on constructing new detector components and analyzing Phase 1 data. Some of my previous work has included helping to commission and take data on the mini-CAPTAIN experiment, preparing neutron cross section data libraries as a member of the LANL Nuclear Data Team, and developing neutron detectors for radiation portal monitors.

Teal Pershing

Teal Pershing.jpgI am a Ph.D. student researching with the SNO+ and WATCHMAN collaborations.  I am currently performing studies to determine the SNO+ sensitivity to antineutrinos produced at Canadian and US reactors.  For WATCHMAN, I am writing software to improve radioisotope background studies performed in the RAT-PAC analysis tool.  For most of 2016, I lived in Sudbury, Ontario and researched at SNOLAB while commissioning the SNO+ detector.  At SNOLAB, I maintained and upgraded the SNO+ slow controls, boated in the SNO+ cavity to replace broken PMTs, and assisted in commissioning the scintillator purification plant.    In the past, I performed neutron activation analysis using the McClellan Nuclear Research Center reactor.  I have also used nanofiltration to attempt purification of liquid organic scintillators.


Post-Baccalaureate Students 

Julie He

I am taking a gap year between undergraduate and graduate school to get experience Julie He.jpgworking in a laboratory with Professor Svoboda and his group. I am involved in a number of experiments and R&D efforts, including: (1) developing a special de-ionizing resin for the ANNIE experiment, (2) testing photomultilier tubes for ANNIE, and (3) working on material compatibility studies for Water-based Liquid Scintillator for the Theia and WATCHMAN experiments. I am also getting experience in commissioning electronics for a new data acquisition system for the photosensor test stand. I am also an ANNIE detector shift operator.

Undergraduate Students

Lena Korkeila

I am working on the material compatibility studies of gadolinium sulfate and water based liquid scintillator for the ANNIE and WATCHMAN experiments. Also spent a lot of time this summer on ANNIE remote shift during Phase 1 running.

Tejas Sharath

I am working on the material compatibility studies of gadolinium sulfate and water based liquid scintillator for the ANNIE and WATCHMAN experiments. Also spent a lot of time this summer on ANNIE remote shift during Phase 1 running.



Steven Dazeley

Steven worked as a Postdoc on the Super-Kamiokande and KamLAND experiments and is now a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Tim Classen

Tim worked as a Postdoc on the Double Chooz experiment and is now a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Marc Bergevin

Marc worked as a Postdoc on the Double Chooz and WATCHMAN experiments, and is now a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Chris Grant

Chris worked as a Postdoc on SNO+ and DUNE/CAPTAIN. He is now on the faculty at Boston University.

Justin Dhooghe

Justin just graduated in December 2017! His thesis was on the measurement of theta13 using the Double Chooz Near and Far detectors.

Nick Walsh

Nick graduated in 2016 with a thesis on the Bottle of Argon COunting Neutrons (BACON) experiment - a measurement of the 40Ar(n,p)40Cl cross section relevant for DUNE. He is now a Postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

John Felde

John graduated in 2014 with a thesis on simulations for the LBNE (now DUNE) experiment, plus a measurement of theta13 using reactor rates versus power at Double Chooz. he is now a Postdoc at the University of Maryland.

Cara Maesano 

Cara graduated in 2012 with a theis on background measurements in the Double Chooz far detector. She now works in Epidemiology at the Sorbonne Universités, Paris.