Astro Summer Seminar Series

Every summer the astronomy graduate students host a series of seminars highlighting the novel and diverse research being conducted by astronomers at UVic and the NRC-HAA. Not only does this allow local astronomers to present the depth and range of their current research, but it gives the audience the opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research being done in Victoria.

Interested in presenting? We invite all astronomers from UVic and NRC-HAA (faculty, post-docs, research personnel, graduate students, co-op students) to present for 30-45 minutes on a current research project. We also welcome external collaborators of UVic and NRC-HAA personnel to present as well. If you are interested in presenting, reach out to anyone on our organizing committee.

Organizing Committee: Max Kurzner ( and Scott Wilkinson (

Interested in attending? The 2024 astronomy seminar series will be held TBD (with some flexibility for certain speakers). We will be providing the option to attend the seminar virtually over Zoom. See the table below for scheduled seminars.

We respectfully acknowledge that the UVic astronomy seminar series is held on the ancestral territories of the Lekwungen peoples. We strive to honour the Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples who were the first astronomers of this land and whose continued stewardship is crucial to its preservation.

2024 Presentations (coming soon!)

DateSpeakerSeminar TitleLocation

2023 Presentations

DateSpeakerSeminar TitleLocation
June 7thFalk Herwig3D Hydrodynamic simulations of massive main-sequence starsCLE A317
June 14thN/ANo seminar this week. Many astronomy unit members attending CASCA.N/A
June 21stN/ANo seminar this weekN/A
June 28thN/ARescheduled to July 5thN/A
July 5thJaclyn Jensen & Federico SestitoSmall-scale stellar haloes: detecting extended substructure in the outskirts of Milky Way dwarf galaxy satellites & The extreme outskirts of Sculptor and Ursa Minor dwarf galaxies Recorded Seminar
July 12thJess SpeedieSpiral wakes: Signposts of planets embedded in protoplanetary disks”Recorded Seminar
July 19thShoshannah Byrne-MamahitFeeding Supermassive Black Holes with Galaxy InteractionsRecorded Seminar
July 26thSimon SmithHunting for the Faintest Stellar Systems in the Local GroupRecorded Seminar
August 2ndN/AN/AN/A
August 9thMadeline MarshallObserving the Host Galaxies of High-z Quasars with JWSTRecorded Seminar
August 16thN/ARescheduled to August 23rdCLE A317
August 23rdTrystyn Berg & Leonardo FerreiraConstraining the chemistry of the first stars from the most
metal-poor quasar absorption line systems & The Optical Morphologies of Galaxies beyond z~3 with JWST
No Recording
August 30thFlash Talk session for summer students and first-year graduate students Presentations by Aviv Padawer-Blatt, Anya Dovgal and Camyrn MullinBWC A104

2022 Presentations

DateSpeakerSeminar TitleLocation
8 – 6 – 2022William ThompsonFireflies, wobbles, sirens, and sunsets
15 – 6 – 2022Sara EllisonGas and star formation in the nearby universe with the ALMA-MaNGA QUEnching and STar formation (ALMaQUEST) survey.
22 – 6 – 2022Shoshannah Byrne-MamahitEnhanced Supermassive Black Hole Accretion Rates in Post-Merger Galaxies from Cosmological SimulationsRecorded Seminar
29 – 6 – 2022James Lane
Picking apart the stellar halo of the Milky Way in the Gaia era
Recorded Seminar
6 – 7 – 2022Federico SestitoGalactic archæology in the Gaia era: tracing the Milky Way assembly with the oldest and most metal-poor starsRecorded Seminar
13 – 7 – 2022Spencer BialekAstronomers and their Intelligent Machines: Advancing the Research PipelineRecorded Seminar
20 – 7 – 2022Logan FrancisThings that go Bump in the Night – Accretion Burst Echoes as Probes of Protostellar EnvironmentsRecorded Seminar
27 – 7 – 2022Katie Crotts
A Multi-Wavelength Study of the Highly Asymmetrical Debris Disk Around HD 111520​
Recorded Seminar
3 – 8 – 2022Fletcher WallerA Spookily Good New High-Resolution Optical Spectrograph for Gemini South: Get Inspired to Use GHOSTRecorded Seminar
10 – 8 – 2022Ariane TrudeauGalaxy populations in distant, X-ray selected clustersRecorded Seminar
17 – 8 – 2022Scott Wilkinson
Are all post-starbursts galaxies caused by mergers? An investigation into the triggering of rapid quenching.
Recorded Seminar
24 – 8 – 2022Kim VennCancelled
31 – 8 – 2022Max KurznerHow Clusters of Galaxies Shape Up: Galaxy Morphology with the Next Generation Virgo SurveyCLE A313

2021 Presentations

DateSpeakerSeminar TitleLink/Location
17 – 05 – 2021Jon WillisDiscovering the first cosmic cities: Distant galaxy clusters and the growth of large-scale structure in the Universe.Recorded Seminar
07 – 06 – 2021Doug RennehanMixing MattersPostponed
14 – 06 – 2021Robert BickleyMachine vision-based studies of post-merger galaxies in observations & simulationsRecorded Seminar
21 – 06 – 2021Alan McConnachieThe Milky Way, its satellites, and their analogs in the Local UniverseRecorded Seminar
28 – 06 – 2021Cancelled for Extreme Heat
05 – 07 – 2021Nienke van der MarelIce pebble chemistry in a dust trap and its influence on the C/O ratio in a planet-forming diskRecorded Seminar
12 – 07 – 2021Isabel SantosMagellanic satellites in LCDM cosmological hydrodynamical simulations of the Local GroupRecorded Seminar
19 – 07 – 2021Austin DavisTurbulent convective mixing at the end of a massive stars life: Motivation for multi-physics code validationRecorded Seminar
26 – 07 – 2021Dhruv MuleyObservational Signatures of Planets in Protoplanetary Disks: Temperature structures in spiral arms
02 – 08 – 2021No SeminarHappy British Columbia Day!
09 – 08 – 2021Megan DonahueQuenching of Star Formation in Massive Galaxies: Insights from X-ray Observations of their Gas Halos
16 – 08 – 2021Asya BorukhovetskayaThe tidal evolution of the Fornax and Crater II dwarf spheroidals
23 – 08 – 2021Salvatore QuaiThe rarity of quenching in simulated post-merger galaxies
30 – 08 – 2021Jess SpeedieObserving planet-driven spiral arms in the dust with ALMA

2020 Presentations

DateSpeakerSeminar TitleRecording / Location
05 – 05 – 2020
Jon Willis
All These Worlds Are Yours – The Scientific Search for Alien Life.Recorded Seminar
06 – 05 – 2020Falk Herwig3D hydrodynamic simulations of core-convection in massive stars: new solutions to an old problem
13 – 05 – 2020Alan McConnachiePushing Gaia to the limits: new insights into the outer Galaxy and the Local Group
20 – 05 – 2020JJ KavelaarsTBDRecorded Seminar
03 – 06 – 2020Arif BabulCosmology with Galaxy ClustersRecorded Seminar
17 – 06 – 2020Kim VennThe Metal Poor GalaxyRecorded Seminar
24 – 06 – 2020Raphael ErraniTidal stripping 101: substructure abundance and the dark matter halos of Milky Way dwarfsRecorded Seminar
08 – 07 – 2020Clare HiggsThe Stellar Structure of Isolated Local Group Dwarf Galaxies with the Solo SurveyRecorded Seminar
15 – 07 – 2020Guillaume ThomasReconstructing the history of the Milky Way and probing the dark matter nature with our stellar halo and its structuresRecorded Seminar
22 – 07 – 2020Doug JohnstoneSteady Wind-Blown Cavities within Infalling Rotating Envelopes: Application to the Broad Velocity Component in Young Protostars Observed by the Herschel Space ObservatoryRecorded Seminar
29 – 07 – 2020Maan HaniThe spatially resolved effects of galaxy mergers on star formation and metallicities in IllustrisTNG
05 – 08 – 2020Nienke van der MarelOn the origin, diversity and fate of gapped protoplanetary disksRecorded Seminar
19 – 08 – 2020Toby BrownEarly Results from VERTICO, the Virgo Environment Traced in CO Survey
02 – 09 – 2020Katie CrottsA Deep Polarimetric Analysis of the Debris Disk HD 106906