Alex Venner (he/him)

Alex Venner (he/him)

PhD Student

Location: Giabal and Jarowair Country, Toowoomba Campus

I am a PhD student at UniSQ with an interest in the discovery and characterisation of exoplanets. I lived most of my life in the United Kingdom, with stints in England, Wales, and Scotland, before moving to Australia for my PhD. I have been obsessed with exoplanets ever since I first learned about them at the age of 9, and this fascination is the driving force that has led me into academia. I graduated with a MSci in Astrophysics from Aberystwyth University in 2019, and then carried out independent research for a time before starting my PhD at UniSQ in 2022.

My research is mainly focused on the detection of exoplanets using astrometry, the measurement of minute perturbations in the motion of stars across the sky. In particular, I use a long-timescale combination of astrometric data from the Hipparcos and Gaia missions to detect massive planets with orbits akin to Jupiter and Saturn. This allows me to explore the outer regions of extrasolar systems, which have generally been difficult to study until now.

I also have interests in areas of stellar astrophysics, especially white dwarfs which are the remnants of stars that have completed the process of nuclear fusion. I aim to discover and characterise white dwarfs orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, as it is believed that many of these are yet to be discovered due to their extreme faintness. This will help to constrain models of evolution for both white dwarfs and main sequence stars.

  • Exoplanet Detection & Characterisation
  • Stellar Evolution
  • White Dwarfs

Mr Venner’s publications can be viewed here