Prof Frédéric Pont
Professor of Planetary Science
Telephone: 01392 725522
Extension: (Streatham) 5522
Professor Pont's research is focussed on understanding extra-solar planets, with the ultimate view of placing our own planet in a wider cosmic context.
He graduated in Physics at the University of Geneva in 1992, where he subsequently completed a PhD in Astrophysics in 1997. He then combined research with work outside academia, with postdoctoral fellowships in Chile, France and Switzerland, and as a scientific expert for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. This last job gave him the opportunity to widen his vision of science by studying projects in archaeology, paleontology and sustainable development, assessing thousands of projects and travelling on five continents for in-depth assessment of the most promising projects.
Professor Pont joined the Astrophysics group at the University of Exeter in 2008 and was named professor in 2011. He is internationally recognized for his work on the empirical study of transiting extra-solar planets, having participated in several key discoveries in this nascent domain of astrophysics, and has authored more than 100 scientific publications in the subject. He is also at the source of the "Exoclimes" cycle of international conferences, bringing together specialists of Solar System planets and extra-solar planets to foster the growth of the new field of comparative planetology beyond the Solar System.
His current research focus includes:
- characterising the atmosphere of extra-solar gas giant planets using the Hubble Space Telescope
- understanding the dynamical and thermal evolution of hot Jupiters
- determining the statistical properties of more Earth-like extra-solar planets
- developing the mathematical and statistical tools required in exoplanet studies
His main international collaborations are with the University of Oxford, several US institutions, and ETH Zurich.