Planet Formation at MSSL/UCL


Research Group Members

Juanita Antilen, PhD Student, 2023-2027

Juanita's PhD project focuses on the physical mechanisms that rule the evolution of protoplanetary disks by combining observations from VLT/SPHERE (e.g. from the DESTINYS survey) and ALMA. We aim to search for observational trends from scattered light observations as the ones obtained from millimeter observations (such as the disk size-luminosity relation and the disk dust mass and stellar mass relation). For this purpose, we compare our observational results to radiative transfer models accross a large range of parameters. Additionally, this unique combination of observations is giving us the opportunity to constrain the dust vertical turbulence in protoplanetary disks, which can be a key parameter for the formation of pebbles and planetesimals in disks.

Wing Yu, Master Student, 2022-2023

Wing is investigating the potential detectability of Lagragian points produced by a massive planet in their parental disk with ALMA. For this purpose, Wing is performing hydrodynamical simulations of planet disk interaction in combia with radiative transfer modesl assuming different disk and stellar properties.

Wali Butt, Master Student, 2022-2023

Wing is studing how the particle traps in disks can create shadowing, decreasing the disk temperature locally. These local temperature changes can affect the chemical reactions occurring in disks, changing the abundance of key elements, such as carbon, oxygen and sulphur. In this project, Wali is performing radiative transfer codes to understand what type of dust trapping is responsible for the distribution of SO and CS observed in a handful of protoplanetary disks.


If you are looking for PhD opportunities in our group, visit our MSSL webpage. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Additionally, there are different fellowships to support independent post-doctoral research in the UK, including funding from UKRI , the Royal Society , the Royal Astronomical Society , the Winton Fellowship , the Stephen Howking Fellowship , the 1851 Research Fellowships , and the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship . If you are interested in applying to any of these and work in our work, please contact me.