I transferred to the University of Warwick in 2012 from Queen’s University Belfast.
My primary research interests are within the field of extrasolar planets. I was responsible for the SuperWASP project in La Palma, which along with its sister facility at SAAO, has become the most successful ground based planet detection experiment, receiving the group achievement award from the Royal Astronomical Society in 2010. I am also a founder member of the Next Generation Transit Survey project: This concentrates the diversity between smaller planets, allowing for greater analysis and comparison between Neptune-like planets and Super-Earths.
Studing small planets around solar type stars is best done from space. There are two ESA missions with this goal. The first is the ESA S mission CHEOPS (launch 2017) is a swiss led satellite designed to followup known transiting planets (eg NGTS or TESS planets) and detect transiting planets amongst the RV detected systems. Further in the future we have ESA M mission PLATO (launch 2024) which is designed specifically to detect and characterise habitable zone rocky planets. I am the science coordinator for PLATO. Transiting planets are the only objects we can measure accurate radii for, and hence density. This is used to compare directly with theoretical models of planet composition. PLATO will be capable of dedtecting planets with moons and rings etc.
I have become a senior member in the UK Exoplanets community and am responsible for many recent reports produced by STFC. I am also involved at an international level as well, such as for NASA’s senior review of astrophysics experiments in 2012, and have helped organise many conferences such as IAU 299 (in Canada) in 2013. I am the recipient of a Royal Society Wolfson Award.
My other research interests include circumbinary systems, and evaporating/disintegrating planets. Over the next few years the NASA TESS mission will be launched - this will give us access to many planetary systems around bright stars. Much of what we will want to do with PLATO planets will be honed on the shorter period TESS objects.
Current PhD Students
Hugh Osborn (3rd year), and Wai Fun Lam (2nd year).
Publications and Citations
Current list of publications via ADS. A collection of my publications, including some of the most cited, and some of the more recent, is as follows:
Osborn et al (2016) MNRAS 457, 2273, Single transit candidates from K2: detection and period estimation
Lam et al (2016) arXiv:1607.07859, From Dense Hot Jupiter to Low Density Neptune: The Discovery of WASP-127b, WASP-136b and WASP-138b
Armstrong et al (2015) A&A 582, 33, One of the closest exoplanet pairs to the 3:2 mean motion resonance: K2-19b and c
Motalebi et al (2015) A&A 584, 72, The HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search. I. HD 219134 b: A transiting rocky planet in a multi-planet system at 6.5 pc from the Sun
Armstrong et al (2014), MNRAS 444, 1873, On the abundance of circumbinary planets
Rauer et al (2014) Experimental Astron. 38, 249, The PLATO 2.0 mission
Triaud et al (2010), Spin-orbit angle measurements for six southern transiting planets. New insights into the dynamical origins of hot Jupiters, Astron and Astrophys
Hebb et al, (2009), WASP-12b: The Hottest Transiting Extrasolar Planet Yet Discovered, ApJ
Pollacco et al (2008), WASP-3b: a strongly irradiated transiting gas-giant planet, MNRAS
Collier Cameron et al (2007), WASP-1b and WASP-2b: two new transiting exoplanets detected with SuperWASP and SOPHIE, MNRAS
Pollacco et al (2006), The WASP Project and the SuperWASP Cameras, PASP