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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 BaylissLink opens in a new window (2020-2024).
I also completed an MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics in the CAPSLink opens in a new window group at the University of Kent, supervised by Professor Michael SmithLink opens in a new window (2015-2019).


My PhD work involves using new data from NASA's TESS missionLink opens in a new window and the NGTS arrayLink opens in a new window (Paranal Observatory, Chile) to search for transiting exoplanets.

I am in the second year of my PhD study, and my previous work includes analysis and global statistical modelling of a new planetary candidate system, TOI-836, which hosts a super-Earth planet and sub-Neptune planet with significant transit timing variations (TTVs) from a wealth of ground and space-based photometric and spectroscopic radial velocity data. We submitted our discovery paper in March 2022.

My current work involves examining and modelling exoplanet candidates from the Southern ecliptic hemisphere of TESS observations, with a view to identifying long-period duotransiting planets.

I am a member of the TESS Follow-Up Observing Program (TFOPLink opens in a new window), the monotransits working group of NGTSLink opens in a new window, and the Astronomers for Planet Earth initiative (Astro4EarthLink opens in a new window).

I also have experience observing with ESO's HARPSLink opens in a new window 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.

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


First author

F. Hawthorn et al. 2022 - "TOI-836: A super-Earth and mini-Neptune transiting a nearby K-dwarf". [SUBMITTED]

F. Hawthorn et al. - "Duotransit Candidates from the TESS Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere". [IN PREP]

Conferences and Presentations

Building Habitable Worlds University of Kent February 2019 Attended
Expanding Worldviews:
Astrobiology, Big History
Cosmic Perspectives
Birkbeck, University of
September 2019 Attended
IOP-SEPnet Women in Physics
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

Armagh Observatory and
Planetarium, IOP
January 2021


[Slides]Link opens in a new window

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
August 2021


[Slides]Link opens in a new window

CHEOPS Science Workshop VI
ESA, University of Bern
January 2022


LGBTQ+ STEMinar 2022
University of Glasgow,
University of Strathclyde
January 2022


GPRV Workshop
University of Oxford
March 2022



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 include 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 EquiteaLink opens in a new window 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. In October 2021, I coordinated a fundraising month in aid of OCD-UKLink opens in a new window, which raised £530 in total for the charity. I have also taken the university's Active Bystander Intervention CourseLink opens in a new window.

I am also on the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Centre for Exoplanets and HabitabilityLink opens in a new window here at Warwick, and I have also been a student ambassador for the wider Physics department, assisting with open days for prospective students.

During my undergraduate study I was the treasurer of the University of Kent Space SocietyLink opens in a new window, 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.

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

In addition to my lifelong interest in science and astronomy, I am also a musician, having played cello and piano for 17 years in over 15 different musical groups, orchestras, pit bands and choirs. I have also played bass guitar for 3 years, self-taught, playing mostly progressive rock and metal - I currently play bass and sing with the Coventry-based bands Moonscream and Femicide.

Outside of my research I am also interested in art conservation, osteology, ARGs and transmedia storytelling, gardening and collecting vinyl records.

Resources and Presentations

OCD-UK Fundraising
October 2021

[SlidesLink opens in a new window]

How to be an Active Bystander
March 2022

[SlidesLink opens in a new window]

Write to:

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

Contact details:






Logo of 'Astronomers for Planet Earth'