Étienne Artigau earned his PhD in astrophysics from the Université de Montréal in 2006, under the supervision of René Doyon and Daniel Nadeau. His doctoral work consisted in the construction of a wide-field infrared camera (CPAPIR) and led to the detection of cloudy regions on the surface of brown dwarfs. The CPAPIR remains one of the most-used instruments at the Observatoire du Mont-Mégantic and is used in queue-mode observing program. His research on brown dwarfs stars led to the first clear detection of photometric variability of a T brown dwarf, and the discovery of cloudy regions on its surface.
Following his doctoral studies, he worked for 3 years at the Gemini South Observatory, in Chile. There, he helped commission the NICI camera used for exoplanet research, while continuing his research on brown dwarfs. He has been back at the Université de Montréal since 2009, and is working on a number of instrumentation projects. He is one of 2 scientific co-ordinators for the SPIRou spectropolarimeter and a member of the support team for the NIRISS on the James Webb Space Telescope.
His current research concerns the detection and characterization of massive, large-separation planets orbiting young stars. He co-directed Marie-Eve Naud’s PhD thesis on this theme, with René Doyon, as well as now co-directing Frédérique Baron’s, with David Lafrenière.