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Faith Hawthorn

I'm Faith (she/her), and I am a PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick, supervised by Dr Daniel Bayliss (2020-2024).
I also completed an MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics in the CAPS group at the University of Kent, supervised by Professor Michael Smith (2015-2019).


My PhD work involves using new data from NASA's TESS mission and the NGTS array (Paranal Observatory, Chile) to search for transiting exoplanets.

I am in the second year of my PhD study, and my previous work involves building Python tools to produce light curves from TESS data on various platforms. My current work includes analysis and global statistical modelling of a new planetary candidate system, TOI-836, predicted to host a super-Earth planet and sub-Neptune planet with significant transit timing variations (TTVs). We are expecting to submit a discovery paper in mid-2021.

I am a member of the TESS Follow-Up Observing Program (TFOP), the monotransits working group of NGTS, and the Astronomers for Planet Earth initiative (Astro4Earth).

I also have experience observing with ESO's HARPS spectrograph at La Silla Observatory, Chile, scheduling observations of stellar spectra for radial velocity data on behalf of fellow exoplanet researchers.

My MPhys dissertation, entitled 'Understanding Massive Star Formation', discussed the proposal and testing of a stage-based model of massive star formation using IDL code, with particular focus on bolometric temperature evolution and the Lyman excess problem. I also completed a dissertation during my undergraduate study entitled 'An Assessment of Triton as a Target for Studies of Habitability', in which I designed a research project to test new equipment ahead of a mission to Triton, based upon previous habitability research conducted on other icy moons of the Solar system. Both of these works are available to view on my website.

My wider research interests include Mars colonisation, Astrobiology and image processing, particularly CCD technology.


Conferences and Presentations

Building Habitable Worlds University of Kent February 2019 Attended
Expanding Worldviews: Astrobiology, Big History
and Cosmic Perspectives
Birkbeck, University of
September 2019 Attended
IOP-SEPnet Women in Physics Webinar IOP, SEPnet December 2020 Attended
LGBTQ+ STEMinar 2021 University of Oxford,
staff/student network
January 2021 Attended
UKRI STFC Introductory Course in Astronomy for
New Research Students
Armagh Observatory and
Planetarium, IOP
January 2021



UKEXOM 2021 University of Birmingham April 2021 Attended
Extreme Environments: From Space to People University of Exeter May 2021 Attended
ERES 2021 Princeton University May 2021 Attended
Astrobiology Introductory Course (RED '21)
Société Française d'Exobiologie
June 2021 Attended
2021 Sagan Exoplanet Summer Virtual Workshop
NExScI (NASA Exoplanet Science Institute), California Institute of Technology
July 2021 Attended
TESS Science Conference II
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
August 2021




I worked as a Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant for the first year undergraduate Mathematics module, PX149, during the first and second years of my PhD studies. My responsibilities included marking and grading weekly assignments and delivering two seminar classes per week.

I also worked independently as a private tutor from October 2019 to June 2021, teaching Mathematics and Physics to GCSE and A-Level, working with students across a wide range of abilities, ages and academic backgrounds.

Outreach and Other Interests

I am a student committee member for the monthly Equitea meeting, a forum designed to discuss topics related to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) in relation to Astronomy, Physics and STEM. I have co-chaired two of these meetings thus far.

During my undergraduate study I was the treasurer of the University of Kent Space Society, with my responsibilities being managing society budgets and accounts, and processing a development fund from Kent Union to install wireless internet at the telescope dome. We also hosted an event in May 2016 for the Mercury transit, inviting local college students and astronomy enthusiasts to safely observe the transit using our 12-inch telescope.

In addition to my lifelong interest in science and astronomy, I am also a musician, playing cello and piano for 15 years in over 15 different musical groups and orchestras. I have also played bass guitar for 3 years, self-taught, playing mostly progressive and alternative rock.

I was also a member of the Air Training Corps (ATC) based at 2427 Biggin Hill Squadron from 2011-2015, where I attained the rank of Cadet Corporal, and was an active member of the Squadron Marching Band playing Bell Lyre.

Write to:

Faith Hawthorn,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact details: