About me

I am a professional Astronomer at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM) and at Aix-Marseille University (AMU) in France.

My research interests cover exoplanetary system science at large, from their demographics, their formation mechanisms, to their overall properties. I am an expert in direct imaging observations of exoplanets and their environments, and I am known in the field for my dual profile combining a solid instrument scientist background and a strong record in exoplanetary system observations. In particular, I specialized in developing powerful image processing techniques that allows us to detect faint exoplanetary systems in our data despite the glare of their host star. I also specialized in the study of Debris Disks, asteroid belts around other stars which bear the marks of the dynamical history in exoplanetary systems. My image processing methods improved the detection capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS imager and lead to the detection of a dozen new debris disks as part of the ALICE project.

For both aspects of my research, I target the faintest objects we can hope to detect in our images. I thus mostly use Space Telescopes observations, which led me to work in several institutes renowned for their development and management of space telescopes (STScI, JPL, Caltech, LAM). I am currently leading a Medium-size observing program with Hubble to characterize the dust properties of several debris disk systems, and I am involved in four Cycle 1 programs with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope aiming at characterizing several known exoplanetary systems. I also aim at adapting my image processing techniques to large ground-based telescopes, to obtain informations on exoplanetary systems complementary to space telescope observations.

As part of my Astronomer's missions, I also contribute to the development of the HARMONI instrument, the first-light integral field spectrograph for the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), for which I analyze the performances to expect for its High-Contrast Module. I also teach at Aix Marseille University in the Physics Department (BSc Physics) and in the Computer Science Department (MSc Image and Signal Processing).

ALICE Debris Disk Gallery
Gallery of debris disk discoveries with the ALICE project.
(Soummer et al. 2014, Choquet et al. 2016, 2017, 2018, Marshall et al. 2018)