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Conor Byrne

Hi, I'm Conor and I am a PDRA in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick, working under the guidance of Elizabeth Stanway. I completed my PhD at Trinity College DublinLink opens in a new window and Armagh Observatory and PlanetariumLink opens in a new window in early 2020.

Research Interests

Presently my research focuses on the role that non-Solar scaled elemental abundances have on our interpretation of stellar populations. In the era of JWST, where we will see distant galaxies in unprecedented detail, the use of Solar-scaled abundance patterns is a weakness in theoretical models, as there is already significant observational evidence that low metallicity environments have a higher alpha-to-iron ratio than the local Universe. Using the binary population synthesis code BPASS, I am trying to quantify the importance of using appropriate stellar models and stellar spectra and the uncertainties that are introduced when we change our model assumptions.

My PhD research developed our understanding of the evolution of hot, low-mass stars, such as hot subdwarfs, with a focus on the role played by atomic diffusion processes. My thesis is accessible hereLink opens in a new window on the TCD research repository. The science chapters of my thesis have also been published in peer-reviewed publications, which you can find listed below.



I am always interested in talking and engaging with members of the public to discuss astronomy and science and pass on the wonder and awe that I have for them. I will gladly answer questions about space, give talks and take part in events, get in touch if you have any burning questions! In my time at Warwick so far, my outreach activities have included a number of outreach events with the Astronomy Group's inflatable planetarium, and giving a public talk on binary stars to the Warwick Astronomy Society.

During my time in Armagh, I was involved in a number of outreach activities. These included giving public talks at observing nights, leading tours of the historic Observatory building, providing interviews to local press (in both English and Irish), participating in science workshops for children, writing articles for the Planetarium's blog, AstronotesLink opens in a new window, and being a guest on the new Armagh Observatory and Planetarium podcast, Intergalactic CraicLink opens in a new window.

Other Interests

Outside of astrophysics, I enjoy a number of other activities in my free time. These include hiking, reading and quizzing. I also have an unhealthy obsession with the weather, having spent a number of years as a deputy Meteorological Observer in ArmaghLink opens in a new window, which has the longest daily climate series anywhere in the UK or Ireland.

Write to:

Conor Byrne,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact details:

E-Mail: Conor.Byrne AT
Office: A1.11, Millburn House