She is an Associate Professor in the Astronomy Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and on sabbatical leave at the Center for Computational Astrophysics in 2019. Her research combines analytic models and high-resolution numerical simulations to obtain new insights into the dynamical processes that form the stellar skeleton of our Galaxy. She received her doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Milan, Italy, where her research was concerned with the nature of the dark matter at the center of galaxies. She was a Marie Curie Fellow in Zurich, Switzerland and a Keck Foundation Fellow at the Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard University before joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2018 she has served as panelist at the XSEDE national supercomputer center. She received a number of awards and honors: the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 2013, the Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellowship in 2013, the Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence Fellowship in 2014, and most recently a Vilas Associate Research Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018.