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Faculty
Joe Bramante
Astroparticle Physics and Theoretical Cosmology
My theory research encompasses dark matter, astroparticle physics, astrophysical searches for new physics, and cosmology. Theoretical physics is presently confronting exciting puzzles, including the nature of dark matter, the state of our universe prior to primordial nucleosynthesis, and the present abundance of matter as compared to antimatter. It is also interesting to consider whether the mass of the Higgs boson relative to the Planck mass, the non-zero cosmological constant, and the charge-parity symmetry of quantum chromodynamics are manifestations of more fundamental physical structures. My research seeks out new explanations for these phenomena and fashions new methods to test such explanations.
Stéphane Courteau
Formation, Structure and Evolution of Galaxies
With my students and colleagues, I study the formation, evolution, structure, and distribution of galaxies. Research topics involve our own Milky Way, nearby galaxies, stellar populations in external galaxies, galaxy dynamics, properties of field and cluster galaxies, scaling relations, distribution of visible and dark matter in the Universe, numerical simulations of galaxies, and testing cosmologically-motivated structure formation models. Central to my research efforts is the development of original tests to elucidate fundamental theoretical and/or empirical puzzles in extragalactic astronomy. My research also involves compiling extensive data bases for structural parameters of galaxies. Through the observing programs that I lead, or via collaborations, my students have access to some of the best observational research facilities worldwide. My former graduate students are all employed in astronomy or science outreach.
Martin Duncan (Emeritus)
Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems
Martin Duncan, with students and colleagues, is incorporating a variety of methods to more efficiently model planet formation processes such as the interaction of large bodies ("protoplanets") amongst themselves and with a population of smaller bodies. We are now poised to tackle pressing problems which have been hitherto computationally intractable. These include extensive simulations of the mid- to late stages of the formation of Earth-like and giant planets and the influence of the planet-building process (e.g. planet migration) and the Sun's early presence in a star cluster on the structure of the outer solar system.
David Hanes (Emeritus)
Globular Star Clusters; Observational Cosmology
We are analyzing the globular cluster systems associated with external galaxies and elucidating their photometric and spatial properties. Globular clusters are the earliest-formed components of galaxies, and their nature and distribution will provide clues into the complex subject of galaxy formation and enrichment. Because the great intrinsic luminosity of globular clusters allows them to be readily seen in remote external galaxies, they are ideal cosmic distance indicators. We are developing refinements in this application as part of a comprehensive review of the extragalactic distance scale.
Judith Irwin
Interstellar Medium in Galaxies; Disk-Halo Connection, Galaxy Outflows
Judith Irwin's research focusses on studies of the interstellar medium (ISM) in our own and other nearby galaxies. Of particular interest are the relationships between a galaxy's ISM and the surrounding intergalactic environment. Many spiral galaxies, for example, show extensive gas and dust in discrete features and halos around the stellar disk. This research attempts to determine the origin of the observed features, provide physical parameters for them, and determine the outcome of the activity. This research primarily uses the world's radio telescopes. Graduate students have gone to, or used data from, the Very Large Array in the USA, the Giant Metre-Wave Radio Telescope in India, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii, the Nobeyama mm-Wave array in Japan, the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico, and the space-based Infra-Red Satellite Observatory and XMM Newton.
Kayll Lake
General Relativity; Computer Algebra
Prof. Lake's works in general relativity and the application of general relativity to astrophysics ranging from the study of black holes to cosmology. He is best known for the development of GRTensor with his students, an abstract computer system for doing calculations in general relativity and string theory.
Kristine Spekkens (RMC)
Structure and Evolution of Nearby Galaxies
Kristine Spekkens' research focuses on understanding of the structure and evolution of nearby galaxies in a cosmological context. She is spearheading a variety of projects to help reconcile long-standing discrepancies between the observed properties of spiral galaxies and predictions from galaxy formation theory, and is particularly interested in developing robust techniques for inferring the distribution of dark matter in these systems. Dr. Spekkens is also involved in planning surveys with the next generation of radio telescopes to map the distribution and kinematics of atomic hydrogen in galaxies in diverse environments out to moderate redshifts. Dr. Spekkens' program thus affords graduate students the opportunity to carry out research with the world's largest radio and optical telescopes, and to develop new tools for interpreting the high-quality data obtained from these facilities.
Aaron Vincent
Astroparticle Physics, Cosmology, Dark Matter, Neutrinos, Cosmic Rays
I am a theoretical astroparticle physicist and member of the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute. My research encompasses many aspects of astroparticle phenomenology and cosmology, with emphasis on the particle nature of dark matter, and the search for novel ways to identify it. I am particularly interested in the effects of dark matter on stars like the Sun, along with its interactions with other messengers including neutrinos and the cosmic microwave background. Another active research area of mine is the interpretation and possible scientific uses of the high-energy astrophysical neutrinos recently seen by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory located at the South Pole.
Gregg Wade (RMC)
Stellar Structure and Magnetic Fields, Spectro-Polarimetry
Gregg Wade's research is aimed mainly at understanding magnetic fields in stars: how they are structured, how they influence the stellar plasma in which they are embedded, how they evolve, and where they came from in the first place. His approach is primarily observational, exploiting powerful telescopes and spectropolarimetric instrumentation at observatories around the world.
Larry Widrow
Dark Matter, Galaxy Models, Extragalactic Magnetic Fields
Larry Widrow works in the field of theoretical astrophysics and cosmology and has focused on problems related to the nature of dark matter, the formation of structure in the Universe, and cosmic magnetic fields. His research interests also include the structure and dynamics of disk galaxies such as the Milky Way and M31 as studied through theoretical modelling and numerical simulation. Why do some galaxies have bars? What happens when galaxies collide? What is the energy distribution of dark matter passing through a terrestrial detector? These are just some of the problems explored by Widrow and his students.

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Postdoctoral Fellows


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Doctoral Students
Sheref Aboelhassan
Works with Kayll Lake
Nikhil Arora
Works with Stéphane Courteau on numerical investigations of galaxies
Bill Ballick
Works with Kayll Lake on the study of black hole volumes
Jake Bauer
Works with Larry Widrow on N-body and gas-dynamical simulations of disk galaxies
Dmitri Lebedev
Works with Kayll Lake on the effect of dark energy in gravitational lensing
Colin Lewis
Works with Kristine Spekkens on modelling the morphologies and kinematics of nearby disk galaxies
Melissa Munoz
Works with Gregg Wade
James Sikora
Works with Gregg Wade
Connor Stone
Works with Stéphane Courteau on scaling relations of galaxies
Zsolt Keszthelyi
Works with Gregg Wade

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Masters Students
Dhruv Bisaria
Works with Kristine Spekkens
Stephanie Ciccone
Works with Kristine Spekkens
Keir Darling
Works with Larry Widrow
Ananthan Karunakaran
Works with Kristine Spekkens on modelling the kinematics of MaNGA galaxies
Haochuan (Kevin) Li
Works with Larry Widrow on modelling of GAIA data
Matthew McNish
Works with Kayll Lake on the study of anisotropic solutions to Einstein's equations
Mike Smith
Works with Stéphane Courteau on machine learning techniques (lead supervision Jim Geach)
Alex Woodfinden
Works with Judith Irwin and Richard Henriksen on magnetic fields in galaxy halos

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Alumni

  Matthew Chequers (PhD 2018) [Shopify engineer]
  Cory Wagner (PhD 2018) [Bruyere Research Institute]
  Christine Hall (MSc 2018)
  Jonathan Sick (PhD 2017) [software engineer at LSST Tucson]
  Nathalie Ouellette (PhD 2017) [iREx/JWST Outreach Coordinator, UdM/CSA]
  Colleen Gilhuly (MSc 2016) [PhD Toronto]
  Matt Shultz (PhD 2015) [PDF ESO]
  Karen Lee-Waddell (PhD 2015) [PDF AAT]
  Majd Abdelqader (PhD 2014) [Physics Instructor, Queen's]
  Farid Qamar (MSc 2014)
  Joel Roediger (PhD 2013) [PDF NRC Herzberg]
  Nathan Deg (PhD 2014) [PDF at the University of Cape Town]
  Gwen Eadie (MSc 2013) [PhD candidate McMaster]
  Joel Roediger (PhD 2013) [PDF NRC Herzberg]
  Jeremy MacHattie (MSc 2013)
  Jeremy Durelle (MSc 2011)
  Pascal Elahi (PhD 2010) [PDF at the University of Sydney]
  Melanie Hall (MSc 2010) [Program Coordinator at Calgary Museum of Science]
  Heather Kennedy (MSc 2009)
  Tara Parkin (MSc 2008)
  Colin Folsom (MSc 2007) [PhD candidate Armagh Observatory, NI]
  Guillaume Rivest (MSc 2007) [PhD candidate at Univ. of Toronto]
  David Kirsh (MSc 2007) [PhD candidate at McMaster Univ.]
  Andrew Calzavara (MSc 2007) [...]
  Michael McDonald (MSc 2007) [Assistant Professor at MIT]
  Kelly Foyle (MSc 2007) [Scientist at the Perimeter Institute]
  Jenny Power (MSc 2007) [Tutor in Kingston]
  Cynthia Whaley (MSc 2007) [working for Environment and Climate Change Canada]
  Sarbari Guha (PDF 2006) [Physicist in India]
  Joseph MacMillan (MSc 2006) [Senior lecturer at UOIT]
  Douglas McNeil (PhD 2006) [PDF Queen Mary College, London]
  Matthew Crosby (MSc 2006)
  Justin Rae (MSc 2006) [Metrologist, Govt of Canada]
  Ben Tippett (MSc 2006) [PhD candidate UNB]
  Rupinder Brar (PhD 2005) [Faculty at UoIT]
  Ian Lepage (MSc 2004)
  Nicos Pelavas (PhD 2003) [PDF Dalhousie]
  David Stiff (PhD 2003) [senior manager of applied research at RiskAnalytica]
  Paul Wiegert (PDF) [Assistant Professor at Western Ontario]
  Steven Bickerton (MSc 2002) [PhD candidate at McMaster]
  Nick Neary (MSc 2002) [Financial Analyst]
  George Davies (PhD 2002)
  Mustapha Ishak (PhD 2002) [Full Professor at University of Texas at Dallas]
  Tom Merrall (PhD 2002) [Financial Industry]
  Nick Neary (MSc 2002)
  Andrew Billyard (PDF 2001) [Operational Research Scientist, Ottawa]
  Jayanne English (PDF 2002) [Assistant Professor at UManitoba]
  Morgan LeDelliou (PhD 2001) [Research Scientist at Durham]
  Kathy Perrett (PhD 2001, MSc 1995) [NSERC Fellow at UT]
  Edward Thommes (PhD 2001) [CITA Fellow]
  Tara Mowery (née Chaves; MSc 2001)
  Mike Seymour (MSc 2000)
  Siow-Wang Lee (PhD 1998)
  JJ Kavelaars (PhD 1997) [Astronomer at NRC Herzberg/CADC]
  Siow Wang Lee (PhD 1997) [High school teacher at Richmond Hill]
  Brian Frei (MSc 1997)
  Man Hoi Lee (CITA National Fellow) [Research Associate at UCSB]
  Xiangdong Shi (PDF)
  Jeroen Stil (PDF) [Professor at Univ. of Calgary]
  L. Jonathan Dursi (MSc 1996) [CITA Fellow]
  Denise King (née, Giguère; MSc 1996)
  Gil Holder (MSc 1996) [Professor at University of Illinois]
  Barkat Sorathia (MSc 1994)


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