I am a PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisors are Richard West and Don Pollacco.
M dwarf exoplanet survey
I am conducting a survey targeting M dwarf stars using NITES, our 0.4m telescope in La Palma. This is searching for exoplanets using the transit method, where periodic dips in the amount of light can reveal an exoplanet along with its radius and period. M dwarfs are an attractive target as their small size means Earth sized planets produce larger dips than they would around the Sun, and their faintness means their habitable zones are much closer to the star. The result is detecting Earth sized planets in the habitable zone is much easier than around Sun-like stars.
I am also responsible for scheduling follow up observations for transit confirmation using NITES.
I am part of the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) consortium, which is conducting a wide field survey looking for transiting exoplanets in the southern sky from Paranal Observatory in Chile. I conducted a project investigating the photometry of saturated stars. These stars are the brightest in the survey and offer excellent opportunities for follow up investigation to find out more about their planets.
Conference Talks and Posters
- Talk: 'The NITES M-Dwarf Exoplanet Survey' (EWASS 2019, Lyon)
- Talk: 'Precise Characterisation of EBLMs in SuperWASP' (EWASS 2019, Lyon)
- Lunch Session Co-organiser: 'Introducing Current Research Into Your Classroom with Astrobites' (EWASS 2019, Lyon)
- Poster: 'The NITES M-Dwarf Exoplanet Survey (UKEXOM 2019, Imperial College London)
- Poster: 'Saturated Stars in NGTS' (Transiting Exoplanets 2017, Keele)
I was a planetarium co-ordinator from 2017-2019, organising visits to local schools and youth groups and running workshops for larger events on campus. More information about the planetarium can be found here.
Popular Astronomy Magazine
I am a regular news section writer for Popular Astronomy, the magazine for the Society for Popular Astronomy, with articles on exoplanets (‘TRAPPIST-1 planet masses suggest water rich worlds’), new instruments (‘Habitable Zone planet finder: the most precise hunter for rocky planets in the near-infrared’), planetary formation (‘ALMA reveals twin baby stars fed by a cosmic pretzel’), planetary exploration (‘Taking the plunge: Cassini dives between Saturn and its rings’) and extragalactic astronomy (‘Supermassive Black Holes Merge in Obscured Galaxies’).
I am also part of the Astrobites organisation, which posts daily summaries of recent astronomical research articles aimed at undergraduate physical sciences students. Links to my articles can be found below.
Exoplanet survey predictions
- Predicting the number of planets from TESS (Republished in AAS Nova)
- A step by step guide to finding planets around ultracool dwarfs
- TESS reveals HD118203 b transits after 13 years
- How to find exoplanets and 'listen' to their stars with TESS (Republished in AAS Nova)
- A very close planet that is way out of line
Extrasolar Planetary Systems
- Experiencing a Dark Tour of the Universe (based on the ‘Dark Tour of the Universe’ workshop, at the British Science Festival 2019)
- Meet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Professor James Head III (Republished in AAS Nova)
- Leavitt's Standard Candles (for International Women's Day 2019)
- Meet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Dr. David DeVorkin
- Stepping into a Supernova