Kristan is a Ernest K. & Lillian E. Chapin Professor of Physics at Kansas State University, where she has taught advanced laboratory for many years. A graduate of SUNY Buffalo (B.S. 1993 magna com laude), she was inspired to become a physicist through Jonathan’s Honors Physics class, and recognized at graduation with the Top Quark Award that he and Barbara Wolff-Reichert created. She has served the scientific community at the national level, and has co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications. She has directed an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site in the Kansas State Physics Department for many years. Her research in nonlinear optics and frequency metrology with gas-filled hollow-core fibers for optical frequency references and novel laser development has been funded by the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.

Kristan is a graduate of the University of Colorado (M.S. ’96 and Ph.D. ’99, physics) where she worked under the direction of Carl Wieman in laser trapping and cooling. After a postdoctoral position at L’Ecole Normale Superieure with Christophe Salomon in ultracold quantum gasses, she joined NIST, Boulder as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow working with optical frequency combs. In 2015-16, she was a JILA Visiting Fellow in the laboratory of Jun Ye.