I am an RAS Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. I am interested in the formation and evolution of stars and star clusters.
My main research concerns the dynamical structure of star clusters and what this can tell us about how stars and star clusters form and evolve. I use observations at a range of wavelengths from both ground and space-based observatories to study young stars in a number of different clusters and associations. I am also interested in how feedback from massive stars affects the formation and evolution of nearby low-mass stars and their protoplanetary disks, and how stars generate a magnetic dynamo and emit X-rays.
Paper published: The Galactic Plane VST Photometric Hα Survey (VPHAS+)|
The VST Photometric Hα Survey (VPHAS+) is imaging the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge in u, g, r, i, and Hα filters at ~1 arcsecond resolution, and will provide photometry for ~300 million stars down to ~20th magnitude. Drew et al. (2014) describe the observing strategy and data pipelining, with examples of the science potential.
Posted May 8th, 2014
Paper published: Extreme YSO variables discovered from UKIDSS|
Using multi-epoch K-band photometry from the UKIDSS Galactic Plane survey, Contreras Pena et al. (2014) report the discovery of 45 variable sources, the majority of which were discovered in known star-forming regions suggesting they are predominantly YSOs with many expected to be eruptive pre-MS variables. This work highlights the potential to uncover such stars from Galactic Plane surveys.
Posted April 15th, 2014
Outreach News: Winner of "I'm a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here!"|
During the last month I have been very excited to take part in the Outreach project, "I'm a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here!", communicating directly with hundreds of children in schools across the country about my research and love of science. I was even more excited to be voted the winner of the event, thanks to all those who voted for me!
Posted March 21st, 2014