PhD students

Lucie’s current and previous PhD students (where she is either primary or secondary supervisor) are listed below. If you are interested in doing a PhD in solar physics, there is a list of available projects here.

Jennifer O’Kane Secondary supervisor: Dr. David Long

Jennifer joined the group in 2017 having developed an interest in the science behind space weather. Her research project focuses on the challenging topic of so-called stealth coronal mass ejections. These ejections produce very faint signatures in the lower solar atmosphere, where they originate, and require advanced data processing to reveal information about their occurrence. Many open questions remain about the magnetic field configuration of these eruptions, how they form and why they erupt.

Alex James Secondary supervisors: Dr. Gherardo Valori, Prof. Lidia van Driel Gesztelyi

Alex joined the group in 2015 and to work on a Leverhulme Trust funded project to investigate the type of solar activity that creates the most severe space weather – coronal mass ejections. Indirect information about the magnetic field of the CME before it erupts will be obtained by using extreme-ultraviolet (EUV), radio, and soft-X-ray images of the Sun’s atmosphere as the magnetic field traps hot plasma that radiates at these wavelengths. Direct information will be obtained from the magnetic field measurements provided by NASA’s SDO satellite. These observations will then be complemented with a modelling technique known as force-free field extrapolations. Together, the observations and models will allow the magnetic field to be studied which in turn will reveal more about the physical processes in action in the days and hours prior to an eruption.

Stephanie Yardley Secondary supervisors: Dr. David Williams and Prof. Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi

Stephanie joined the group in 2013 and completed her thesis in 2016. She investigated the magnetic field in the solar atmosphere. In particular testing the hypothesis that magnetic field configurations in the Sun’s atmosphere that support dense plasma, known as filaments and which erupt to form coronal mass ejections, are twisted and current carrying. Using various remote sensing instruments onboard solar spacecraft, Stephanie furthered our understanding of how these twisted magnetic fields form. Stephanie now hold a post-doctoral research assistant post at the University of St. Andrews where she is continuing her work.

Alison Hartshorn (née Wallace) Primary supervisor: Dr. Sarah Matthews

Alison was awarded her PhD in 2012 for her thesis on ‘Flux Emergence and its Consequences in the Solar Atmosphere’. She was the first student in her year to complete and her research resulted in four refereed publications in major journals. Whilst at MSSL, Alison was also involved in organising scientific meetings was a keen communicator of her science. She went on to be Head of UK Student Recruitment at Queen Mary University of London.