Welcome to my home page!
I am currently a fourth year PhD student in the Astrophysics Group at Keele Unversity, working under the supervision of John Southworth. I am expecting to submit my PhD thesis in early-mid 2018, and am looking for a postdoctoral position!
I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My research involves the detection of binary stellar companions to transiting exoplanets through the use of high resolution imaging. Binary stars may be involved in the formation of the enigmatic class of planets known as hot Jupiters. By detecting and characterising these companions, I aim to study the multiplicity properties of the stellar systems in which hot Jupiters are found - are these planets commonly found in binary systems?
I am also searching for unassociated stars along the line of sight towards planetary systems. It is often assumed that only a single star contributing light to observations of a transiting planet; however, contaminating light from another star will dilute the photometric and spectroscopic signals of the planet and bias the derived properties of both the host star and planet. Furthermore, these systematic errors can have a wavelength dependency; when performing transmission photometry or spectroscopy, in the worst case a contaminating star can produce results mimicking the effects of Rayleigh scattering and molecular features in the planet's atmosphere.
My research has been performed using observations obtained with the Two Colour Instrument, a dual-band lucky imager on the Danish 1.54m Telescope at La Silla operated by the MiNDSTEp microlensing consortium, and also VLT/SPHERE, an extreme adaptive optics system capable of simultaneous imaging and integral field spectroscopy in the near infrared.
I am a member of the organising committee of the AskScience outreach project, an interactive online forum where members of the public pose questions to a panel of experts, covering all areas of science. AskScience regularly hosts special question-answer sessions with invited speakers, and also holds special events to mark important scientific events discoveries, such as the 2017 U.S. Solar Eclipse or the discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet system. AskScience receives over 4 million unique visits every month.