Chris Flynn : Tuorla Observatory



Researcher Training

Current Ph.D. Students

  • Sarah Bird is studying globular cluster dynamics in the Milky Way; doing distance measurements to galaxies using HST; and studying the halos of elliptical galaxiesi with the VLT. Sarah began her Ph.D. studies in August 2008.
  • Juliet Datson is searching for Solar twins, as well as studying the star formation history of the Milky Way disc. Juliet began her Ph.D. studies in February 2009.
Former Ph.D. Students
  • Esko Gardner studied the orbits of disk stars in the Galaxy --- with emphasis on irregularities in the Galactic potential --- in particular, the Galactic bar. He has also looked in detail at how comets enter the inner Solar system from the Oort cloud, due to the Galactic tidal field. Esko completed his Ph.D. studies in July 2010.
  • Luca Casagrande is studying Helium in K dwarf stars, with a view to mapping out the development of Helium in the cosmos. Luca completed his Ph.D. in April 2008, and will be heading for a postdoc position in Munich with Martin Asplund.
  • Janne Holopainen is using various observational means to constrain new ideas on the nature of dark matter in the Galaxy. Janne completed his PhD in 2007, and is now pursuing other professional interests.
  • Chris Thom (Swinburne University of Technology) searched for distant stars in the Galactic halo, with which to constrain the distances of so-called "high velocity clouds" of gas covering much of the sky; as a bonus he was able to examine the kinematics of the Galactic halo with these same stars. Chris finished his thesis in May 2006, and has taken up a post-doc position in Chicago.
  • Rami Rekola looked at methods to determine distances to galaxies in the local group and a little beyond (i.e. in the extended local group).  Rami completed his thesis work in 2005 and is presently a postdoctoral fellow at Tuorla Observatory.
  • Johan Holmberg (Lund Observatory). Johan used the Hipparcos satellite to measure the amount of dark matter in the disk of the Galaxy (we didn't find any!). Johan completed his thesis in 2001, and has had post-doc positions in Copenhagen, Lund, Turku and has returned to Lund after a position working on the GAIA mission in Heidelberg.

M.Sc. students


Former M.Sc. students
  • Eira Kotoneva looked a sample of low surface brightness galaxies and determined rotation curves from H alpha observations. Eira completed her masters thesis in 1999, and went on to do a PhD at Tuorla.
  • Janne Holopainen used existing proper motion surveys to put limits on the amount of faint white dwarfs which could make up the dark matter in the Galactic halo --- he found that the white dwarfs discovered to date contribute very little to the dark matter. Janne finished his masters work in April 2003, and is presently working toward his PhD.
  • Andrew Mattingly (Swinburne University of Technology) used the Geneva-Copenhagen Survey of the Solar Neighbourhood, computing instanteous and longer term orbital parameters for the stars in a model of the Galactic potential. Andrew completed his masters work in 2004. Aside from a busy professional life in IT, Andrew also has a telescope he operates at the the Grove Creek Observatory in Australia. He is presently part of a world-wide campaign to monitor OJ 287.
  • Esko Gardner worked with Johan Holmberg for a Masters Thesis --- on high resolution spectra of bulge stars obtained at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. Esko finished his Masters in May 2006.