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Prof Frédéric Pont

Professor of Planetary Science

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Professor Pont's research is focused on understanding extra-solar planets, with the ultimate view of placing our own planet in a wider cosmic context. Current research 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, and developing the mathematical and statistical tools required in exoplanet studies.

Education and Employment

  • 1988-1992 MSc in Physics, Geneva University
  • 1992-1997 PhD in Astrophysics, Geneva University
  • 1997-1999 Research associate, Geneva University
  • 1999-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chile
  • 2001-2003 Scientific collaborator for the Rolex Awards for Enterprise
  • 2004-2005 CNRS fellow, Laboratoire dAstrophysique de Marseille
  • 2005-2008 PRODEX fellow, Geneva University
  • 2008- Senior Lecturer, Professor, University of Exeter

Funded Research Projects

  • SNF fellowship, "the age and distance scale of the Universe with globular clusters 1999
  • CONYCIT fellowship, "Age structure of Local-Group dwarf galaxies, 2000
  • CNRS fellowship, COROT space mission, transiting exoplanets, 2004
  • STFC advanced fellowship, "Discovery, characterisation and understanding of exoplanets with transits, 2008
  • Halliday award, 2008 (best STFC advanced fellowship of the year in UK)

Facilities Usage

  • Hubble Space Telescope GO-11740, allocated June 2009, 16 orbits
  • Observatoire de Haute-Provence 193 cm telescope 09B.PNP.PONT, 23-29 Jun 2009, 6 nights
  • Observatoire de Haute-Provence 193 cm telescope 09A.PNP.PONT, 22-27 Feb 2009, 5 nights
  • Observatoire de Haute-Provence 193 cm telescope 10B.PNP.PONT, 15-20 Feb 2010, 5 nights
  • Hubble Space Telescope GO-13006, allocated June 2012, 8 orbits
  • Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory 1.3m telescope 2012A-0432,6 Feb 2012 - 31 Jan 2013, 6.8 nights
  • Numerous runs on the Very Large Telescope (VLT), other ESO telescopes, and other European and US observation facilities

Contributions to the Community

  • Chairperson for the organisation of the "Diversity of planetary atmosphere international meeting in Exeter, 2010
  • Chairperson for the organisation of the "Exoclimes 2014 international meeting in Davos, 2010
  • Scientific Organising Committee member for several international meetings
  • Reviewer for European Grants, UK grants, and all major astrophysics journals.

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