Astronomy, optics and Bayesian statistics

I'm a graduate student in astrophysics at the University of Oxford. I study exoplanets and develop new and better methods for detecting and characterizing them.

I'm working on a an asteroseismic survey using hitherto ignored collateral 'smear' data to study the brightest stars in Kepler. The nearby targets are ideal benchmark stars, as they are close enough to combine asteroseismology with interferometry and spectroscopy to properly pin down their physics with multiple independent constraints. These are important as an anchor for the stellar models we use for understanding more distant stars and exoplanets, as will become even more important with the release of Gaia, TESS and PLATO. More generally, I am searching for transiting planets in K2 and other missions - in particular TESS - using Bayesian non-parametric methods to correct for systematics, and also fully characterizing exoplanet host stars.

I'm also pursuing novel high angular resolution imaging methods, in particular aperture masking and kernel phase interferometry with extreme adaptive optics and integral field spectrographs. These permit spatially-resolved detections of faint companions to stars and simultaneous extraction of their spectra, with interferometry providing a boost to spatial resolution, contrast limits, and speckle calibration. This has applications in wavefront sensing, adaptive optics, and photonic technology.

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