I am an STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow and ERC Starting Grant awardee in the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. My research interests include explosive transients, cosmology and supernova progenitors. In particular, I am interested in observational studies of stellar explosions, from exploring the diversity of supernova populations to studies constraining the progenitor characteristics of normal supernovae. Understanding the physics and explosion mechanisms of supernovae is vital for their continuing use as probes of cosmology.
Sept. 2017: Awarded ERC Starting Grant (€1.9M), 'Type Ia supernovae: from explosions to cosmology' (https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2017-starting-grants-results)
Oct. 2015 - present: STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
Oct. 2013 - Sept. 2015: Marie-Curie fellow, European Southern Observatory, Germany
Oct. 2010 - Sept. 2013: Post-doctoral researcher, University of Oxford, UK
Oct. 2007 - Sept. 2010: PhD in Astrophysics, Queen's University Belfast, UK
My research covers a broad range of topics in supernova and explosive transient research. In particular, my research focuses on the following topics:
I am involved in a number of surveys including PESSTO, the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), 4MOST, LSST, and the Euclid space mission. PESSTO is a ESO public spectroscopic survey operating at La Silla until 2017. Extended PESSTO (ePESSTO) has been approved until 2019. I am chair of the (e)PESSTO Target and Alert, which is responsible for selection and prioritisation of targets and follow-up strategies. I am also P.I. of the PESSTO science group, 'Thermonuclear supernovae in remote locations', which is investigating SNe in locations far from their host galaxies and in faint dwarf galaxies. This new supernova sample will cover a range of galaxy environments to constrain supernova diversity over the history of the Universe.
The wide-field transient survey PTF operated from 2009-2013 and discovered many hundreds of low-redshift Type Ia supernovae in exquisite detail. The first major data release of Type Ia supernova optical spectra from PTF can be found in Maguire et al. (2014). This well-calibrated low-redshift supernova sample will be used in future constraints on the cosmological parameters.
Future wide-field transient surveys, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Zwicky Transient Factory (ZTF), will revolutionise our understanding of the transient sky by discovering huge numbers of interesting transient events every night. The bottleneck will be spectroscopic classification and follow-up, which is why we have formed the Time-Domain Extragalactic Survey (TiDES) within the 4MOST consortium. Our aim is to use the multiplex capabilities of 4MOST to trigger rapid follow-up of interesting transient events, combined with static host galaxy studies for cosmology. Euclid, an upcoming ESA space mission operating at near-infrared wavelengths will also allow us to constrain more precisely the properties of dark energy using high-redshift Type Ia supernovae. I am a member of the Euclid 'Supernovae and Transients’ working group.
My ADS publication list can be found here.