I completed my PhD in astrophysics at the University of Bristol, UK. I was part of the planet formation group led by Dr Zoƫ M. Leinhardt which focuses on performing numerical simulations of planet formation in our solar system and in extreme environments such as those found around binary stars. My particular area of research was the formation of circumbinary planets in which I performed N-body and hydro-dynamical simulations to model both the solid and gas components of protoplanetary disks from which these planets form.

I have worked with the N-body code PKDGRAV to perform simulations of planetesimal dynamics in protoplanetary disks perturbed by a secondary star. The simulations were run in conjunction with the advanced collision model EDACM to determine regions of the disk which could sustain planetesimal accretion and growth. You can find my ApJL accepted paper “Forming Circumbinary Planets: N-body simulations of Kepler-34” here. I furthered my work by understanding the response of the circumbinary gas disk around the observed binary systems Kepler-34 and Kepler-16 in a parameter space study that considers gas viscosity, thin-disk aspect-ratio, boundary conditions, initial surface density distribution and relevance of self-gravity. This work can be found in the A&A accepted article “Modelling circumbinary protoplanetary disks: I. Fluid simulations of the Kepler-16 and 34 systems” here.

Dr. Stefan Lines