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Paula Izquierdo

I am a postdoctoral research fellow in the white dwarf research group within Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Warwick, working with Boris Gänsicke. I completed my PhD (Evolved planetary systems around white dwarfs: probing into the ultimate fate of the Solar System) at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias with Dr. Pablo Rodríguez Gil and Prof. Boris Gänsicke.

Research interests

My research primarily focuses on the study of metal-polluted white dwarfs, in particular those accreting tidally disrupted planetary bodies. As a star leaves the Main Sequence and starts its way towards the white dwarf phase, it undergoes structural and physical changes that affect the planetary system. The closer planetary bodies will most likely be engulfed in these initial phases, but the outer ones can survive and be eventually disrupted by tidal forces if they are driven close to the white dwarf as a result of the reduced dynamical stability of the evolved system. These disrupted planetesimals will be accreted by the white dwarf and by means of spectroscopic studies, they offer the unequaled opportunity to unveil the chemical composition of exoplanets.

Among the metal-polluted white dwarfs, I am focused in the ones with helium-dominated photospheres, since they pose bigger challenges due to their small numbers and less amount of studies than their hydrogen counterparts.

I am not only interested in the analysis and comparison of the cosmochemistry of exoplanets but also in white dwarfs undergoing live tidally disruption events. These systems are the final milestone in the theoretical background of the metal pollution seen in hundreds of white dwarfs.

Write to:

Paula Izquierdo,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

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