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Kim Venn

Canada Research Chair (Tier II),
Director of the
Astronomy Research Centre,

Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Office: Elliott 111
phone: 250 472 5182
email: kvenn at

Kim Venn is a stellar spectroscopist, specializing in the analysis of metal poor stars in our Galaxy and nearby dwarf satellites. The comparison of the chemistry of stars within our Galaxy, and to stars in other galaxies, tells us about the formation and evolution of these systems, as well as the nucleosynthesis of the elements themselves. She has won numerous awards for her research including the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (NSF 2000), and currently holds a Canadian Research Chair (Tier II) in Observational Astrophysics.

Her work is closely coupled with three other groups at UVic:
(1) The Computational Stellar Astrophysics group, which is interested in modelling the properties of stars themselves, including nucleosynthesis in the cores, convection in their interiors, and how these properties change as the stars age.
(2) The Cosmology group, which is interested in theoretical modelling and predictions of the formation of galaxies in a cold dark matter Universe. Included in these predictions are observational tests for the stellar populations in the Milky Way.
(3) The Astronomical Instrumentation groups, which are located in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the NRC-HIA. The Raven MOAO instrument is the current main interest, being built for the Subaru Observatory with first light expected in the summer 2014.

Research Areas

The general research areas of the group are:

  • stellar spectroscopy and nucleosynthesis
  • galactic chemical evolution and the early universe
  • astronomical instrumentation

Presently Active Projects

  • chemodynamics of stars in dwarf galaxies
  • metal poor stars and the early universe
  • IR spectroscopy of stars in the Galactic bulge
  • chemistry of stars in globular clusters
  • chemistry of stars in the outer Galactic halo
  • stars with debris disks
  • Raven MOAO science demonstrator
  • Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer science case and instrumention
  • Thirty Metre Telescope science case and instrumention

Graduate and (Co-)Advisees

  • Masen Lamb: PhD candidate
  • Paolo Turri: PhD candidate
  • Hannah Broekhoven-Fiene: PhD candidate
  • Rosemary Pike: PhD candidate
  • Collin Kielty: MSc candidate
  • Clare Higgs: MSc candidate
  • Jared Keown: MSc candidate
  • Benjamin Gerard: MSc candidate
  • Nic Loewen: BSc candidate and summer coop at UVic
  • Farbod Jahandar: BSc candidate at UVic

    Former Members

  • Deborah Lockhorst: BSc 2015, PhD candidate UofT (Toronto, Canada)
  • Kris Youakim: BSc 2015, PhD candidate IAP (Potsdam, Germany)
  • Dr. Charli Sakari: PhD 2014, currently PDF (U. Washington)
  • Dr. Ryan Leaman: PhD 2012, currently PDF (MPIA, Heidelberg)
  • Dr. Celia Blain: PhD 2012 (Mech Eng), currently PDF UVic (Mech Eng)
  • Ruth Digby: BSc candidate UVic
  • Brendan Thorne: BSc candidate UVic
  • Trystyn Berg: MSc 2014, PhD candidate UVic
  • Anna Delayhe: BSc 2011, PhD candidate McGill
  • Mike Divell: BSc 2011, school teacher
  • Ashley Chutter: MSc 2009, school teacher
  • Paul Wilson: BSc 2008, PhD candidate U.Exeter
  • Konstantin Fedotov: BSc 2008, PhD candidate UWO
  • Jon Geehan: MSc 2006, school teacher

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