Tom is currently working with Dr. Lou Strolger on supernovae, both currently with the BUFFALO project and looking forward with WFIRST. This work focuses on the goal of optimising supernovae searches using WFIRST, allowing for the best possible sample of type Ia supernovae to be identified and characterised, from which the theories of cosmological history and inflation can be probed. He is involved in the analysis of realistic simulations of lightcurves as most likely observed by WFIRST, to identify key areas of survey improvement, significant factors of systematics, statistical noise floors, etc.
Additionally, working with Dr. Erik Tollerud and the Astropy team, Tom is involved with development of the PSF photometry in the Photutils codebase. During his Master's and PhD, Tom worked with Dr. Tim Naylor on a range of stellar cluster research topics and developing methodology for the use and manipulation of public photometric catalogues. His Master's dissertation focused on the identification of a new method for the ageing of young, pre-main-sequence stellar clusters, as well as an age-insensitive method for the determination of low-mass pre-main-sequence stars. His PhD thesis concerned the cross-matching of photometric catalogues — the creation of a merged catalogue of two independent datasets — in the presence of the crowding of fainter stars, which are not detected, blocked by brighter stars in the original photometric images. Using Gaia and WISE as two important examples of the extremes of angular resolution, he showed that without considering the astrometric perturbations of sources due to the center-of-light changes caused by a faint blended source hidden inside a brighter object, more than 50% of correct Gaia-WISE match identifications would be lost, if a simple nearest neighbour cross-matching scheme is used.
Tom is very interested in the development of more robust methodology in Astronomy — as highlighted by his work during his PhD — and its applications to a host of topics, which has lead him to be involved in a wide range of astrophysical research areas, such as supernovae, stellar clusters, and exoplanet characterisation. The transparent, robust, and fully comprehensive analysis of datasets as complex and full of hidden caveats as astronomical spectra and images require detailed consideration and creative solutions.
PhD in Physics, University of Exeter, UK
MPhys in Physics with Astrophysics, University of Exeter, UK
Research Topics: Supernovaeand Remnants, Stellar Populations, Expolanets and Astrostatistics
ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6352-9735