Clémence Fontanive is a researcher specialised in the demographics of giant exoplanet and brown dwarf populations, using the direct imaging and astrometry methods.
She completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2019, with a thesis in which she placed new constraints on the multiplicity of free-floating brown dwarfs, and explored the population of giant planets in binary star systems, providing new clues on the origins of these objects. She then spent three years as a Research Fellow at the University of Bern, during which she discovered an exotic binary system composed of two young planetary-mass brown dwarfs, and used Gaia information to directly image four new brown dwarfs around stars. In parallel, she led two Hubble Space Telescope programs to investigate the properties of the coolest brown dwarfs around us.
As a Trottier Fellow at the Université de Montréal, Clémence continues to study substellar objects, with a focus on the Y-dwarf population: the faintest and coldest type of brown dwarfs. Combining HST observations and Gaia data, she measures precise distances for these objects and explores the details of their complex, planet-like atmospheres. She also contributes to complementary JWST programs on brown dwarfs, and expands her works on the formation of planets in stellar binaries and direct imaging surveys for giant exoplanets.
Clémence is also very invested in the promotion of women in science, and scientific outreach in astronomy through public events. She is notably part of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee of iREx, and leads the organisation of Astronomy on Tap events in Montréal.