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.
Cygnus OB2 was always an association
We have studied the past structural evolution of the OB association Cygnus OB2 and find it has never previously been a dense star cluster. This disproves the commonly-accepted paradigm that all stars form in dense clusters and argues against competitive accretion as the formation mechanism of the massive stars in Cyg OB2.
Posted November 20th, 2013
The dynamical evolution of star forming regions
Using N-body simulations we model the dynamical evolution of star forming regions with a wide range of initial properties and trace their evolution using various structural parameters. We show how these structural parameters can be used to constrain the initial conditions in observed star clusters and associations.
Posted November 15th, 2013
Largest star known tearing itself apart
The Royal Astronomical Society have produced a press release to support the publication of our paper on the ionized nebula surrounding the red supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1. The European Southern Observatory have almost prepared an image release of the star cluster.
Posted October 17th, 2013