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Prof Sean Matt

CV Highlights


  • Ph.D. in Astronomy, August, 2002, University of Washington
  • M.S. in Astronomy, December, 1998, University of Washington
  • B.S. in Physics & Astronomy, December, 1996, University of Arizona


  • 2016 - present: Associate Professor of Astrophysics, University of Exeter
  • 2013 - 2016:  Senior Lecturer in Astrophysics, University of Exeter
  • 2009 - present:  Research Affiliate of Space Science Institute (SSI), Boulder, Colorado
  • 2010 - 2013:  Senior Postdoc at CEA Saclay, France
  • 2010, spring:  Instructor of Stellar Structure and Evolution (ASTR 531), University of Washington
  • 2008 - 2010:  NASA Postdoctoral Program Senior Fellow, NASA Ames Research Center
  • 2005 - 2008:  Levinson/VITA Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Virginia
  • 2004 - 2005:  Postdoctoral Research Associate, McMaster University
  • 2004, autumn:  Instructor of physics (PHYS 1B03), McMaster University
  • 2002 - 2004:  CITA National Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University
  • 1998 - 2002:  Research Assistant, University of Washington
  • 1997 - 1999: Teaching Assistant, University of Washington
  • 1997:  Large Telescope Optics Shop Employee, Rayleigh Optical Corp. (ROC), Tucson, Arizona
  • 1997:  Tutor of Maths and Physics, Tucson, Arizona
  • 1995 & 1996:  NSF/REU Summer Research Assistant, National Solar Observatory, Sunspot, New Mexico

Funded Research Projects

  • 2021 - 2024: PI/manager of STFC AGP Consolidated Grant (with 6 Co-Is), "Astrophysics at the University of Exeter"; £1,651,382 (PI share £12,000)
  • 2017 - 2019: Co-PI (with S. Brun) on International Space Science Institute International Team, "The Solar and Stellar Wind Connection"; equiv. €30,000
  • 2017: PI on Summer UG Research Student Funding, EPSRC; £3000
  • 2016: Co-I on K2 Guest Observer Cycle 4 time and funding (PI A. Scholz; 15-K2GO4_2-0010), "Rotation of M dwarfs: spindown, activity, and gyrochronology"; US$40,000
  • 2016 - 2022:  PI on ERC Consolidator Grant 2015 AWESoMeStars; "Accretion, Winds, and Evolution of Spins and Magnetism of Stars," U. of Exeter; €2,206,205
  • 2017 - 2022:  PI on 2 PhD Studentships for ERC project AWESoMeStars, internally funded (College EMPS), U. of Exeter; £160,000
  • 2016 - 2017:  Cost-PI (via SSI), science Co-I; "The Rotation/Actitivy Relation of M Dwarfs," NASA/Chandra Cycle 17 observing proposal #17200112 (PI B. Stelzer); US$33,026
  • 2015 summer:  Host of Summer UG Research Student Funding, funded by Haverford College KINSC, U. of Exeter; US$5,000
  • 2015 summer:  PI on Summer UG Research Student Funding, internally funded (DARO/Santander), U. of Exeter; £5,000
  • 2014 - 2018:  PI on PhD Studentship, internally funded (College EMPS), U. of Exeter; £80,000
  • 2012 - 2016:  Team member of CEA partnership (Co-I S. Brun) “TOUPIES: TOwards Understanding the sPIn Evolution of Stars,” ANR (French) Blanc SIMI5-6 02001 (PI J. Bouvier), Shared between IPAG, CEA AIM, IRAP, LUPM; €615,272
  • 2010 - 2012:  Co-I on “Inferring the Launch Conditions of the DG Tau Jet from Chandra Obs.,” NASA/Chandra Cycle 11 theory grant #11200687 (PI Z.-Y. Li), UVA;  US$57,997
  • 2008 - 2011:  Co-I on “Angular Momentum Evolution and X-ray Production in Low-Mass Pre-Main-Sequence Stars,” NSF AST 0808072 (PI K. Stassun), Vanderbilt U.; US$289,810
  • 2008 - 2010:  PI on "Rotational Evolution from Birth to the Solar Age," NASA Postdoctoral Program Senior Fellowship, NASA Ames Research Center; US$140,000
  • 2005 - 2008:  PI on Levinson/VITA Postdoctoral Fellowship, U. of Virginia; US$190,000
  • 2002 - 2004:  PI on CITA Postdoctoral Fellowship, McMaster U.; CAD$95,000
  • 2000 summer:  PI on NASA Goddard Space Flight Center High Performance Computing 3-week Summer School; US$2,000
  • 1995 & 1996 summer:  PI on two separate NSF/REU Summer Research Bursary and Travel, National Solar Observatory, NM; 2xUS$4,000

Invited Presentations

Invited presentations and keynote talks at international conferences:

  • "Stellar Winds, Activity, and Angular Momentum Evolution"; special session on Computational Astrophysics: 20th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, Boston MA, July, 2018
  • "Rotation, Magnetic Activity, and Mass Loss of Sun-Like Stars"; Solar/Stellar Workshop, U. of Warwick, UK, July, 2016
  • "Stellar Angular Momentum Over Time"; special session on Clusters: 19th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, Uppsala, Sweden, June 2016
  • "Early Rotational Evolution"; Invited Review, IAU Symp. 314: Young Stars & Planets Near the Sun, Atlanta, Georgia, May, 2015
  • "The Importance of Accretion & Outflows for Young Star Spins"; Accretion and Outflows Throughout the Scales: from YSOs to AGNs, Lyon, France, October, 2014
  • "MHD Simulations to Compute Stellar Angular Momentum Loss"; UK MHD Meeting, Exeter, UK, 2014
  • "The Physics of Stellar Angular Momentum Evolution"; Invited Review, 400 Years of Stellar Rotation, Natal, Brazil, November, 2013
  • "Angular Momentum Evolution of Young, Low-Mass Stars and Brown Dwarfs: Observations and Theory"; Review (with J. Bouvier, S. Mohanty, A. Scholz, K. Stassun, C. Zanni), Protostars and Planets VI, Heidelberg, Germany, July, 2013
  • "The Physics of Stellar Spin Evolution"; Invited Review, special session on Angular Momentum Evolution of Cool Stars: 17th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, Barcelona, Spain, June, 2012
  • "Stellar Winds in Low Mass Stars"; Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) 6th Workshop, CEA Saclay, France, May, 2012
  • "Accretion-Powered Stellar Winds"; Magnetic Protostars & Planets Meeting, Toulouse, France, November, 2011
  • "Magnetic Fields and Wind Braking"; Invited Review, special session on the Rotation-Magnetic Field Relation: 15th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, St. Andrews, Scotland, July 2008
  • "Understanding the Spins of Young Stars"; Invited Review, 14th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems, and the Sun, Pasadena CA, Nov. 2006
  • "Pre-Main-Sequence Stellar Winds: Hot or Cold, Weak or Bold?"; ASIAA-TIARA Star Formation Workshop, Taipei, Taiwan, Dec. 2005
  • "Spin of Accreting Stars: Accretion-Powered Stellar Winds vs. Disk Locking"; TIARA Star Formation Program, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Nov./Dec. 2005
  • "Disk, Jet, and Lobe Formation by Winds in Rotating Dipole Magnetic Fields"; Massive Stars: From Photospheres to V_infinity (Workshop to honor career of J. Cassinelli), Madison WI, Sept. 2004
  • "The Spin History of Protostars: Disk Locking, Revisited"; Gravitational Collapse: From Massive Stars to Planets (Workshop to honor the career of Peter Bodenheimer), Ensenada, Mexico, December, 2003
  • "The Last Hurrah: PPN Formation by a Magnetic Explosion"; Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae III (Conference), Mt. Rainier WA, July 2003

Meeting Organization

  • SOC member for Cool Stars 21, Toulouse, France, 2022
  • SOC member for Cool Stars 20.5, virtual meeting, 2021
  • Session Chair in meeting 16th Potsdam Thinkshop on Rotation, Potsdam, Germany, 2019
  • Organizer (Chair of SOC) for BCool Collaboration Meeting #8, Exeter, UK, 2019
  • Co-organizer for two ISSI meetings on Solar/Stellar Winds, Bern, Switzerland, 2018 & 2019
  • Co-organizer for workshop on Stellar Magnetism & Spin, Bellingham, Washington, 2017
  • Organizing Committee Member (SAC) and Discussion Panel Chair for meeting Transport Processes and Accretion in YSOs, Ringberg, Germany, 2011

Contributions to the Community

  • Given ~70 talks and contributions to conferences, meetings, workshops, public lectures, and department colloquia in 4 continents, 15 countries, and 16 US states
  • Panel member for STFC Astronomy Grants Panel, theory sub-panel, UK, 2017
  • TAC Panel member for NASA Chandra Guest Observer Program, USA, 2015
  • Panel member for NASA Astrophysics Theory Program Grants, USA, 2012
  • Panel member for NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Grants, USA, 2009
  • TAC panel member for Hubble Space Telescope Cycle 17, USA, 2008
  • External reviewer for funding bodies, including STFC Astronomy research grants; STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship Grant Scheme; Royal Society Fellow Research Grants; ANR (France); CONICYT (Chile); FWO Fellowship (Belgium); ISF (Israel)
  • Journal referee for ApJ, ApJ Letters, A&A, AJ, MNRAS, PASP
  • Thesis examiner: 2 PhDs & 1 MSc as external examiner (UK, France, Colombia), 5 PhDs as internal (Exeter)
  • Member of working group on Research Opportunities in Plasma Astrophysics, 2010
  • Helped polish primary mirrors for the 2-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), and solely responsible for polishing 2.4m aluminum mirror used to test the MMT secondary mirror (while at ROC), 1997


  • Provided project ("Solar Sailors") and support for Exeter Maths School EMC program, 2020
  • Provided project ("Disco Ball Earth") and support for Exeter Maths School EMC program, 2019
  • Produced outreach video on "Why do Stars Spin?"
  • Provided project ("Solar Sailors") and support for Exeter Maths School EMC program, 2017
  • Provided project ("Sailing on the Solar Wind") and support for Exeter Maths School EMC program, 2016
  • Public Talk at UVA McCormick Observatory, Charlottesville, Virginia, 2007
  • Seminar Speaker for Hamilton Amateur Astronomers, Hamilton ON, Canada, 2002
  • Guest on two Laura Lee Radio Shows in Seattle, Washington on the topics of "Coronal Mass Ejections" and "Ice on the Moon," 2000
  • Liaison Person for Inquiries from Public (fielding questions about seasonal shadow predictions, bright sky objects, UFOs, etc.) in the Astronomy Department at University of Washington, 1999-2002
  • Public Tour Guide for Telescopes at National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak, Sunspot, New Mexico, 1995, 1996


  • 2015, European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant
  • 2008, NASA Postdoctoral Program Senior Fellowship
  • 2005, Levinson/VITA Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2002, CITA National Postdoctoral Fellowship