I am a PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisor is Grant Kennedy. My research works on developing and refining new methodologies to detect exocomets.
I completed my MSc in Physics at UCL (2019-2020) and my BSc in Physics at Queen Mary, University of London (2016-2019).
In recent years, there have been a small number of stars that have shown unique dips in their transits caused by analogues of comets in our Solar system. The most convincing evidence of this so far is that of Beta Pictoris (Zieba et al. 2019). Similar systems such as KIC 3542116 and KIC 11084727 (Rappaport et al. 2018) have also been detected, boosting the motivation to detect the potential presence of exocomets. The significance of exocomet discovery will allow us to understand the possible remnants of planet formation and the evolution of extrasolar systems, tracing back their processes through time.
An automated method to detect comet-like transits was developed by Kennedy et al. 2018, which used Kepler data in the main analysis. As newer missions such as TESS will provide more data about younger stars with various astrophysical variability, the search for exocomets will extend towards stars that are 30-100 times brighter than Kepler, and over an all-sky survey. It is natural that further development of this algorithm is essential, and will be the current part of this PhD for the next several months.
My other research interests include the search for faint binary systems with spectroscopic data. This research comes from my MSc thesis on using PolyChord nested sampling towards the development of the Gaia DR4 pipeline with Dr George Seabroke and Dr Pablo Lemos.
A list of affiliations:
- Institute of Physics (Associate Member)
- Royal Astronomical Society (Fellow)
Outside of Astronomy, I have an interest in Earth Observation, particularly in using machine learning to quantify aboveground biomass data, implying the levels of deforestation across the region of interest. Before starting my PhD, I worked as an Earth Observation Data Scientist with the University of Leicester.
I was a Course Rep for MSc Physics at UCL, where I worked closely with the department to build the graduate experience for the postgraduate students.
I was a committee member of Queen Mary’s Physics Society, PsiStar, for two years, becoming the President in 2018-2019. I led an international trip to visit ESA ESTEC in the Netherlands and introduced multiple new initiatives to the society. The society won the SU's “Academic Society of the Year” for both years I was involved.
When time (and conditions) allow, I am a keen traveller and photographer. My photography portfolio (still in the works) can be found here. I also enjoy playing and watching football, tennis, and motor racing (and I have raced in a Formula Ford!).
A list of conferences I have currently attended:
- ESCAPE Summer School: June 2021
- TESS Science Conference 2: Aug 2021
- STFC Summer School: Aug/Sept 2021