Michael came to the Université de Montréal to join iREx in the Fall of 2019 and pursue his Ph.D studies with David Lafrenière. During the course of his project, Michael will be one of the first students involved in the NEAT (NIRISS Exploration of the Atmospheric Diversity of Transiting Exoplanets) survey using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The goal of the NEAT survey is to use the enhanced capabilities of the JWST to characterize the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets with unprecedented precision.
Prior to joining iREx, Michael completed his M.Sc at McMaster University with Doug Welch. His project consisted of using the SITELLE spectrometer on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope to search for ultra-low surface brightness light echoes from supernovae in the galaxy NGC 6946. Light echoes are formed when light from a supernova scatters off of interstellar dust, and reaches Earth long after the supernova has faded from view. Detecting light echoes allows us to continue to study these influential astronomical events tens, or hundreds of years after the supernova has disappeared.
Michael received his B.Sc. in astrophysics also from McMaster University. He completed his honours thesis with Laura Parker, studying the evolution of dark matter substructure in the Bolshoi Simulation. Michael has also had the opportunity to participate in numerous other research projects during internships at Queen’s University, the University of Manitoba, and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.