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Catriona McDonald

I am a PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisor is Dimitri Veras and I work on computational and theoretical post-main-sequence planetary system science.


My current research looks at the fate of exo-asteroids on extremely eccentric orbits around white dwarf stars.

Other research interests
  • Dynamics of planetary systems
  • Habitability


Constraining the origin of the planetary debris surrounding ZTF J0139+5245 through rotational fission of a triaxial asteroid D. Veras, C. H. McDonald, V. Makarov, 2020, MNRAS, 492, 4, 5291-5296

Linking the formation and fate of exo-Kuiper belts within Solar System analogues D. Veras, K. Reichert, F. Flammini Dotti, M. X. Cai, A. J. Mustill, A. Shannon, C. H. McDonald, S. Portegies Zwart, M. B. N. Kouwenhoven, R. Spurzem, 2020, MNRAS, 493, 4, 5062-5078

Constraining planet formation around 6-8 M⊙ stars D. Veras, P-E. Tremblay, J.J. Hermes, C. H. McDonald, G. M. Kennedy, F. Meru, B. T. Gänsicke, 2020, MNRAS, 493, 1, 765-775

Teaching and Outreach

I am currently acting as a demonstrator for first year undergraduate physics laboratory sessions.

I was heavily involved with outreach activities during my undergraduate studies and enjoy interacting with members of the general public of all ages, this has continued with my participation as a volunteer for our inflatable planetarium. I am involved in the planning team for Pint of Science 2020 - which should have some exciting virtual content coming out in the autumn!

Picture of Catriona McDonald smiling with some woodland behind her.

Write to:

Catriona McDonald,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact details:

E-Mail: Catriona.McDonald (at)