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Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay

I am Professor in the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group and European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant fellow. Please contact me if you would like to find out about opportunities to work within my research group. If you wish to apply for an independent postdoc fellowship, please visit our fellowship opportunities.

WDI am interested in white dwarfs and stars as physics laboratories and probes of Galactic and planet formation history. I develop model atmospheres and 3D radiation-hydrodynamical simulations and work with large data sets from Gaia and multi-object spectroscopic follow-ups from 4MOST and WEAVE. Recently we have discovered the first direct evidence of solid white dwarfs (Nature, 9 January 2019), a massive star with a bizarre atmosphere could be two white dwarfs that merged together (Nature Astronomy, 2nd March 2020), the source of carbon in the Universe (Nature Astronomy, 7 July 2020), definitive evidence of ancient terrestrial planet crusts (Nature Astronomy, 11th February 2021), seen the final moments of a planetary remnant (Nature, 9th February 2022), and identified a very old star accreting debris from orbiting planetesimals.

Learn more about the Warwick working group on white dwarfs, planetary remnants and the local stellar population.

Source model data


PX149: Mathematics for Physicists (2021-)
PX144: Introduction to Astronomy (2016-2019)
PX146: Physics tutorials; PX319/PX402: Physics Project
MPAGS: Astrophysics background reading module

Team members

Dr Snehalata Sahu, Post-doctoral research fellow (ERC Consolidator Grant)
Dr Antoine B├ędard, Post-doctoral research fellow (ERC Consolidator Grant)
Dr Andy Buchan, Post-doctoral research fellow (Leverhulme and ERC Consolidator Grant)
Abbigail Elms, PhD student (ERC Consolidator Grant)
Mairi O'Brien, PhD student (ERC Consolidator Grant)
James Munday, PhD student (STFC)
Emily Roberts, PhD student (ERC Consolidator Grant)

Former team members

Dr Elena Cukanovaite, PhD student and post-doctoral research fellow (ERC and STFC, 2016-2023)
now working at the management consulting company Aon
Dr Tim Cunningham, PhD student and Post-doctoral research fellow (ERC and Leverhulme Trust, 2016-2023),
now Hubble Fellow at CfA Harvard
Dr Mark Hollands, Post-doctoral research fellow (ERC, 2018-2021), now Research Fellow at University of Warwick
Dr Nicola Gentile Fusillo, Post-doctoral research fellow (ERC, 2016-2019), now professor at University of Trieste

Graduated PhD students

3D atmospheric models of helium-dominated atmosphere white dwarfs, Elena Cukanovaite (2020)
Convective overshoot in the atmosphere of white dwarf stars, Tim Cunningham (2020)

Highlights of recent research and press releases

07-2023: Two-faced star in first for astronomy
11-2022: Oldest planetary debris in our galaxy found from new study
02-2022: Final moments of planetary remnants seen for first time
02-2021: Vaporised crusts of Earth-like planets found in dying stars
07-2020: White dwarfs reveal new insights into the origin of carbon in the universe
03-2020: Two stars merged to form massive white dwarf
01-2019: Gaia reveals how Sun like stars turn solid after their demise
2014: 3D surface convection in white dwarfs
2014: Stellar formation history in the Galactic disk


Feel free to contact me for outreach talks such as: "Thousands of solid white dwarfs and the future of the Universe" or "Sirius B and the discovery of white dwarfs".

Department of Physics
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Office: A1.17 (Milburn)

Funded by ERC, STFC and
Leverhulme Trust