Welcome to my homepage! You'll find an overview of the research that I am doing, as well as research from other groups that has grabbed my attention [much more research content coming soon...]. I work with some fun and very active graduate students here at ESO, you can find a little more about them here too - as well a very brief summary of my career to date.
Search for habitable worlds with SPIRou: tackling stellar activity
Application deadline 26th April 2019
See PDF file for full details.Motivation: Since the discovery of the 1st exoplanet using radial velocities in 1995, more than 3500 other planets have been discovered outside of our solar system, unveiling a diverse range of planets but no Earth twin. Yet! In order to detect molecules tracing the presence of life in the atmosphere of Earth analogues – one of the major challenges of 21st century astrophysics – we need to identify the best planet candidates. This is a key objective of the legacy survey using the new SPIRou instrument at the CFHT which is presently starting.
This is a great opportunity for a PhD student, whose work will play a crucial role in characterising the effects of the host star's magnetic activity, enabling the detection of exoplanets. The same data will also be used to model the potential habitability of the detected planets.
Relevance to ESO: The techniques developed with SPIRou will also be adapted for application to the new generation of near-infrared spectrographs developed at ESO such as NIRPS (ESO 3.6-m telescope) and the upgraded CRIRES+ (VLT), thus opening up access to key exoplanetary systems in the southern hemisphere.
Supervisory Team: The PhD project will be supervised by Pascal Petit (IRAP, Toulouse) and Julien Morin (LUPM, Montpellier) on the French side, and Gaitee Hussain (ESO, Garching). The applicant will work within the SPIRou Legacy Survey international collaboration.
How to apply: Applicants should send a CV, cover letter and Master's degree transcript to Julien Morin by 26 April 2019, and arrange for up to 3 reference letters to be sent directly to the same address by the same deadline. Inquiries about the position and the application can be sent to the same address. See PDF file.
Former PhD students
Current positions, duties & roles
2014-19 IDEX Chaire, IRAP/OMP, Toulouse, FR
Since 2019: Head of the Editorial Team
2007- ESO Astronomer, Garching, DE
Since 2017: Editor of the ESO Annual Report & Messenger
2015-2019: Deputy Head of the Office for Science, Garching
2007-2017: Observing Programmes Office Astronomer & Editor of the Call for Proposals
2007-2017: ESO Survey Team Member