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Abbigail Elms

I am a PhD student in the Astronomy & Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisor is Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay. My research focuses on studying white dwarfs within the Milky Way galaxy. I completed my MPhys (Hons) Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology degree at the University of Portsmouth in 2021.


Using photometric data from Gaia and Pan-STARRS and spectroscopic data from Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), I am utilising the local population of white dwarfs to calibrate stellar ages in our galactic neighbourhood. Specifically, I am researching the mass, temperature and atmospheric composition of ultra-cool white dwarfs with and without the presence of metals.

Other Research Interests

I am also interested in galaxies, black holes and general relativity. For my master's research project, I identified all dwarf galaxies in SDSS MaNGA data and determined which of them likely host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). Then, I discovered each dwarf galaxy's local environment to see if there is a correlation between this and hosting an AGN.


For the academic year 2021/22, I am a laboratory demonstrator for the first-year undergraduate physics module PX152 Physics Laboratory.

I also worked as a secondary school Teach Physics intern for the Ogden Trust in summer 2019 and 2021.

Outreach and Other Interests

During my four years at the University of Portsmouth, I was part of the Physics Society and was President in my second year (2018/19) which I used to promote diversity and inclusivity in physics. I was also an Outreach Demonstrator for the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, where I regularly performed physics experiments and fun STEM activities to primary and secondary school students to generate enthusiasm for science.

In addition to my interest in physics, I have played competitive netball for 14 years at club, university and county level.

Write to:

Abbigail Elms,

Department of Physics,

University of Warwick,

Coventry CV4 7AL


Contact details:

E-mail: Abbigail.Elms[at]

Office: PS0.04 (Physical Sciences)