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 Felix Priestley

Felix Priestley

Research Associate
Astronomy

School of Physics and Astronomy

Email
priestleyf@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
N/3.27, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA

I'm a postdoc working on star formation in filaments, largely by running MHD simulations to investigate how the magnetic field strength and aligment affects filament formation and fragmentation. I'm also interested in using astrochemistry as a tracer of the dynamics in star forming regions, and the formation and destruction of dust in supernova remnants.

I did an MSci Astrophysics at UCL, working on astrochemical models of star formation for my master's project. After failing to get any offers in star formation I stayed at UCL for my PhD, which ended up being split between molecular emission from ionized nebulae and dust in supernova remnants. I was a postdoc at UCL for slightly less than a year, continuing to work on supernova dust while also taking up star formation again, before moving to Cardiff for my current position.

My job at Cardiff is to run MHD models of filaments in star forming regions. Changing the magnetic field strength and orientation can completely alter how the filament grows and fragments, with subsequent effects on the prestellar and protostellar cores formed. As there is no direct way to measure gas density in molecular environments, I also post-process these models with an astrochemical code to look for variations in observable molecules, which could provide a clean test of theories of star formation.

At the other end of the stellar life cycle, I'm also interested in dust formed (and destroyed) by supernovae. Core-collapse supernovae are possibly the dominant source of dust in the early universe, and are definitely the main source of destruction. I combine theoretical dust emission models with infrared observations to investigate dust properties beyond the mass and temperature returned by simple modified blackbody fits, such as the composition and size distribution.

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