Jamie Wilson - Student Profile
Current research project
Observations of Exoplanet Atmospheres
My research focuses on ground- and space-based observations of extra-solar planets - planets that orbit stars other than the Sun. Over the last two decades thousands of new exoplanets have been discovered and we have now begun the preliminary exploration of their compositions and evolutionary histories.
The small size of these planets relative to their host stars makes these observations extremely challenging with the majority of detections limited to ‘hot Jupiter’ exoplanets – gas giants orbiting close to their host stars. In my work I use advanced statistical and machine learning techniques to account for the often poorly understood instrumental systematics, allowing an accurate recovery of the planet’s atmospheric signal.
With future instrumentation such as the James Webb Space Telescope, it may be possible to extend these techniques to small, rocky worlds within the habitable zone. This would present an extremely exciting possibility - the detection of life elsewhere in the Universe.