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Andy Gallagher, new postdoc researcher in GEPI

Andy Gallagher started a two-year position here at l’Observatoire de Paris in mid-May 2014. His research centres around metal-poor stars, chemical evolution of the early Galaxy, and 3D hydrodynamic modelling of stellar atmospheres. He is involved in two projects. The first looks at a group of metal-poor stars whose carbon abundance has been enhanced, called «carbon enhanced metal-poor stars», or CEMP stars for short. Secondly he will be looking at the metallicity distribution function of our Galaxy. He presents himself in the text below.

I grew up in Barnsley, which is a small town in South Yorkshire, in the north of England. I studied for my undergraduate degree in astrophysics at the University of Hertfordshire. It was during this time that I gained a real interest in stellar physics, nucleosynthesis and chemical evolution. I graduated with first class honours and returned to Hertfordshire to do my PhD.

I worked on modelling spectral features in metal-poor stars, which are among the oldest stars in our Galaxy. By examining the chemistry in these stars we are able to infer how even older generations of stars evolved and died, which helps us learn about the chemical history of the Galaxy. I examined barium isotopes and iron lines in great detail for this purpose. I completed my PhD in late 2012.

My interests centre around stellar and solar physics. In particular, I am interested in stellar evolution, nucleosynthesis, chemical evolution, stellar atmosphere modelling, metal-poor stars (or population II) and the first stars (or population III stars).

After my PhD I was invited back to the University of Hertfordshire for a short-term postdoc, where I continued my work in barium isotope modelling. I began my first foray into modelling stellar atmospheres using three-dimensional (3D), time-dependent model atmospheres.

I began a two-year position here at l’Observatoire de Paris in mid-May 2014. My research still centres around metal-poor stars, chemical evolution of the early Galaxy, and 3D hydrodynamic modelling of stellar atmospheres. I am involved in two projects. The first looks at a group of metal-poor stars whose carbon abundance has been enhanced. We call them carbon enhanced metal-poor stars, or CEMP stars for short. Secondly I will be looking at the metallicity distribution function of our Galaxy. I look forward to my time here and my first impressions of l’Observatoire and Paris are fantastic: one could not ask for a more idyllic location to work !

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