I'm Gareth Jones (he/him), a 3rd year PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick, supervised by Elizabeth StanwayLink opens in a new window.
I was also an undergraduate at the University of Warwick, having completed a MPhys in Physics (2016 - 2020).
My PhD project involves using the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis (BPASSLink opens in a new window) models to create physically-motivated, panchromatic spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Currently, the BPASS models are focussed on the stellar emission and only model populations at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths. My work looks to extend these models into longer wavelengths, modelling emission at infrared and radio wavelengths, to see whether information can be inferred about a population's emission at these longer wavelengths from the stellar model.
One of the unique additions to BPASS compared to previously used stellar models is the addition of binary evolution pathways, a phenomena found to occur for most massive stars. Part of my work investigated how the inclusion of binaries effected the modelling procedure, looking specifically at combinations of stellar and dust models to see how various combinations involving different input physics performed when fitting to observational data. We also explored the uncertainties this caused in derived stellar and dust parameters. After that investigation, my current work now focusses on using this information to explore other dust properties (i.e. dust temperature evolution through time) and whether a connection to radio emission can be made to infer properties about that component after obtaining a stellar and dust best-fitting model to a population.
Other projects completed as part of my undergraduate degree:
- My undergraduate final year project focused on a stellar occultation by Titan with supervisor Tom MarshLink opens in a new window, where we modified a pipeline to extract flux counts from frames for a moving Titan merging with light from a background star. We could then derive an occultation light curve, from which atmospheric properties of Titan could be estimated.
- A summer project under the URSSLink opens in a new window scheme at Warwick with supervisor Grant KennedyLink opens in a new window, where we hunted for exocomets within TESS data by searching for asymmetric transits.
Jones et al. (2022)Link opens in a new window - "On the simultaneous modelling of dust and stellar populations for interpretation of galaxy properties"
During my time as a PhD student I have taken on the role of Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate first year module Mathematics for Physicists. This involved me marking weekly maths problem sheets, from which I prepared and took weekly seminars for two classes of six students.
Volunteering and Outreach
I enjoy participating in volunteering and outreach where possible. During the summer of 2018, I participated in the Warwick in AfricaLink opens in a new window scheme, volunteering in South Africa for 7 weeks. I travelled to a secondary school in the province of Limpopo and taught Maths to several classes from grade 8 to 12 (GCSE to AS level), with up to 100 students in each class. I prepared my own lessons and worksheets for each class, including marking the returned worksheets and mock exams. For one of the weeks, I attended a workshop to discuss different teaching styles with teachers from the Limpopo region.
During the National Astronomy Meeting 2022 held at Warwick, I helped with various outreach activities during the week. Schools were invited to participate in science and art activities, where I helped students build model stars for a HR diagram and demonstrated magnetic fields with various devices/toys. A science festival was put on during the conference with similar activities that I also volunteered at.
I am part of the student committee for the monthly EquiteaLink opens in a new window seminar series, a forum where topics related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) in Astronomy, Physics and/or STEM are discussed.
During summer 2022, the Warwick Astronomy and Astrophysics department invited participants from under-represented countries in Astronomy to participate in the Warwick Astronomy Knowledge Exchange (WAKELink opens in a new window) program. During this, I helped run some of the sessions and co-organised the CV workshop, Equitea meeting and a lunch session where the students were introduced to the Extragalactic and Transient group at Warwick.