About me:

I am a Norwegian / British astronomer who working on the scientific preparation of the PLATO exoplanet mission. The PLATO space mission is designed to search for small, rocky exoplanets in the habitable zones of stars like the Sun.

I also work on a variety of astrophysical topics mainly focused on far-UV observations aimed at understanding the the formation environments of young planets. I am also very interested in work related to exoplanet atmospheres, radial velocity followup and the chemistry of exocomets.

I previously worked as a postdoc researcher at Leiden observatory in collaboration with Prof. Ignas Snellen. Prior to that I was working at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris where I mainly worked together with Dr. Alain Lecavelier des Etangs, Dr. Alfred Vidal-Majar and Dr. Guillaume Hébrard.

I obtained my PhD from the University of Exeter in 2014 with Prof. David Sing as my supervisor. Dissertation title: From Brown Dwarfs to Super-Earths: An Observational Study of Weather and Atmospheric Composition

My Research

Rarely in astrophysics do we have the opportunity to learn so much so fast about a new group of astrophysical objects such as exoplanets. Understanding their atmospheres is a necessary condition for learning more about the planets themselves, including formation, evolution, and (where relevant) habitability. To make sense of their atmospheres and formation history, we can look to the more easily observable brown dwarfs who partially overlap the exoplanetary parameter space with comparable radii, effective temperatures, composition and surface gravities. To gain insight into how they formed we can learn a lot by studying the chemistry and dynamics of their formation environments.

Research topics of interest

From my blog

19

Aug 2019

Evidence for an additional planet in the β Pictoris system

Beta Pictoris is one of the most ideal targets for studying planet formation. The young 23 Myr system consists of a …

05

Aug 2019

An open, borderless, decentralised, trusteless space object catalogue. Possible or wishful thinking?

A real problem in the space situational awareness community, is the lack of a shared validated catalogue of known space debris. This …

17

Apr 2019

PLATO High Resolution Images

High resolution up-to-date images of the PLATO exoplanet mission are hard to find. I’ll collect high resolution PLATO images here as …

14

Nov 2018

Detection of Nitrogen gas in the β Pictoris circumstellar disc

Our new paper is out today on the first detection of nitrogen in the famous planetary system: β Pictoris. The debris …

2 Min Read

05

Nov 2018

PLATO and the search for planets in the habitable zone

One of the key scientific goals of PLATO is to detect terrestrial exoplanets in the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-type stars …

5 Min Read

11

Oct 2018

How is the PLATO exoplanet mission different from TESS?

The PLATO mission will monitor the brightness variations of more than 200,000 stars to look for planets which transit their host …

3 Min Read

Outreach

“I love outreach. It provides an excellent opportunity to showcase just how fascinating the Universe we live in really is.”

Through a programme called “meet the scientist”, I got the opportunity to travel around to schools and talk about astronomy. If you’d like me to visit your school, send me an email and then let’s see what we can arrange.

I have given a number of talks at astronomy clubs including Cape Town Obervatory, Norman Lockyer Observatory, Brannell Astronomy Society, Tavistock College
and Guernsey Astronomy Society.

If you’d like me to give a talk at your astronomy club, please send me an email.

I’ve given radio interviews, commented on astronomical events (online and in print) and provided background information to journalist. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re from the media and you are looking for comments. I am fortunate to know people from within different fields of astronomy and I would be more than happy to refer you.