I’m still writing a few more words about my research, come back in a few days.

What I do for a living

I search for exoplanets. Planets around other stars.
The ultimate goal is to find a planet like the Earth orbiting a star like the Sun.
But that’s not so easy. Low-mass planets (like the Earth, with a mere 6 septillion kg) impact tiny effects on their host stars, in particular changing their radial velocity (RV) or their brightness. This is the basis of the RV (not that) and transit (not that) methods for planet detection.

The idea behind the RV method. Credit: <a href='example.com'>NASA JPL</a>
The idea behind the RV method. Credit: NASA JPL

The whole problem boils down to finding periodic signals of very low amplitude in radial velocity time series which can cover decades.

During my PhD, I was in charge of a radial-velocity survey of metal-poor stars, with the goal of estimating the occurrence rate of low-mass planets in the low metallicity regime. I found a planet occurrence rate smaller than that of solar-metallicity stars, which means that the famous giant planet – metallicity correlation also extends to the population of low-mass planets.

Software

I enjoy writing code and developing software for science.
Most of my projects can be found on Github. Here are some important ones:

bgls - Bayesian version of the Generalized Lomb-Scargle periodogram

iCCF - Line profile / asymmetry indicators

keplerian - the Keplerian function

kima - Exoplanet detection in RVs with DNest4 and GPs

SAM - Hi, I’m SAM

Over at the blog, I’ve talked about a number of other small codes.

Publications

I am co-author of 64 refereed research papers. Here is a complete list: