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Laura Millson

I am a PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick. My supervisor is Heather Cegla. My research focuses on simulating the impact of stellar variability on radial velocity measurements, to improve the detection and characterisation of Earth-like exoplanets.


Low mass, long period exoplanets orbiting Sun-like stars induce a very small Doppler wobble on their host star (~10 cm/s), which can easily be masked by the Doppler shift from granulation on the stellar surface (~m/s). My research uses Sun-as-a-star simulations to better understand how this variability impacts the stellar spectra, so we can clearly identify any small signals from Earth-sized exoplanets.


I completed my undergraduate degree in Earth sciences and geography between the University of York and the University of Hong Kong (HKU). I then completed a Master of Science at University College London (UCL) in geoscience. These degrees allowed me to study many aspects of our planet, and my interest naturally expanded to other planets, both in our Solar System and beyond (exoplanets).

I then completed a Master of Science at UCL (MSSL) in space science, engineering and astrophysics. My MSc research involved developing a pipeline in Python to extract light curves from stars within full-frame images from NASA's TESS mission, and search for periodic signals within these light curves attributable to transiting exoplanets. During this MSc I also completed a group research project, which involved constructing a proposal for a new space-based mission for ESA's Distributed Space Weather Sensor System.

Other Interests

Outside of academia I enjoy baking, art and sports, such as ice-skating, running and hiking.

Write to:

Laura Millson
Department of Physics
University of Warwick

Contact details:

Office: PS0.16b (Physical Sciences)