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Kim Venn

Director of ARC,
Director of NTCO

Canada Research Chair
(Tier II: 2005-2015)
Ph.D., UTexas 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 a Canadian Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics (Tier II, 2005-2015).

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, located in Mech.Eng. and at the NRC-Herzberg. UVic and NRC build and deploy new instruments with advanced adaptive optics techniques (e.g., Raven, GIRMOS, NFIRAOS), and advanced fibre-fed spectrographs (e.g., GRACES, GHOST, MSE).

Research Areas

The general research areas of the group are:

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

Presently Active Projects

  • chemodynamics of stars in dwarf galaxies
  • metal poor stars and the early universe
  • machine learning techniques for spectral surveys
  • 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
  • Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer, science case, instrumention, FiTS
  • GHOST, science case, large program
  • GIRMOS, science case, instrumentation
  • Thirty Metre Telescope, science case, instrumentation

Graduate and (Co-)Advisees

  • Collin Kielty: MSc 2017, PhD candidate
  • Clare Higgs: PhD candidate
  • Mojtaba Taheri Nieh: PhD candidate
  • Jared Keown: PhD candidate
  • Zack Draper: PhD candidate
  • Ondrea Clarkson: PhD candidate
  • Farbod Jahandar: BSc 2016, MSc candidate
  • Spencer Bialek: BSc 2017, MSc candidate
  • Thor Tronrud: MSc candidate
  • Ruth Digby: BSc 2016, MSc UVic
  • Stephanie Monty: BSc candidate
  • Teaghan O'Briain: BSc candidate

    Former Members

  • Dr. Masen Lamb: PhD 2017, PDF at Dunlap Institute (Toronto)
  • Dr. Paolo Turri: PhD 2017, PDF at Berkeley (CA, USA)
  • Dr. Hannah Broekhoven-Fiene: PhD 2016
  • Dr. Rosemary Pike: PhD 2016, PDF at ASAII (Taiwan)
  • Nic Loewen: BSc 2017, MSc candidate at UVic
  • Deborah Lockhorst: BSc 2015, PhD candidate UofT (Toronto, Canada)
  • Kris Youakim: BSc 2015, PhD candidate IAP (Potsdam, Germany)
  • Dr. Charli Sakari: PhD 2014, PDF (U. Washington)
  • Dr. Ryan Leaman: PhD 2012, PDF (MPIA, Heidelberg)
  • Dr. Celia Blain: PhD 2012 (Mech Eng), currently PDF UVic (Mech Eng)
  • Brendan Thorne: BSc 2015
  • 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
  • Dr. Paul Wilson: BSc 2008, PhD 2013 U.Exeter
  • Konstantin Fedotov: BSc 2008, PhD candidate UWO
  • Jon Geehan: MSc 2006, school teacher

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