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A vital visitors program is essential to the health of any research endeavour. MoCA recognises this with the introduction of the Distinguished Visitor Program, designed to help fund moderate to long-term visits of high quality researchers. The program is named after Monash's first Professor of Astronomy, Kevin Westfold.

Kevin Charles Westfold (1921-2001) was the Foundation Professor of Mathematics at Monash University and also its first Professor of Astronomy (from 1976-1982). He went on to become Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Monash (1982-1986) and was a Council member of the Astronomical Society of Australia from 1968 to 1978, including Vice President (1973-75) and President (1975-77).

Call for applications

Applications for visitors are considered on a rolling basis. We expect to make at least three awards per year, of up to $5000 each. The awards are to support visits of at least one month by collaborators of MoCA staff. Preference is given for longer visits, and those with the potential to involve more MoCA people. Forward nominations to John Lattanzio as soon as you can.

2015 Visitors

Professor Christian Iliadis (University of North Carolina and Tri-Universities Nuclear Labs) will visit MoCA from Feb-Mar 2015. Professor Iliadis is the author of an excellent text on nuclear physics for astrophysics and is a pioneer of new ways of presenting nuclear reaction rates. While here he will give some graduate lectures on nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics. More information will be available closer to the date.

Dr Ilya Mandel (University of Birmingham) will be hosted by Yuri Levin from Jan-Apr 2015. His field of expertise is gravitational wave astronomy, with particular emphasis on the astrophysics relevant for LIGO. With advanced LIGO coming online in 2015, his visit is very timely.

2014 Visitors

Professor Henk Spruit (Max Plank Institute for Astrophysics and University of Amsterdam) will be hosted by Alex Heger in October 2014. He is a world-leading expert on hydrodynamic instabilities and the action of magnetic fields in the Sun, stars, and other astrophysical environments.

Professor Bennet Link (Montana State University) will visit in January 2014 to work on a variety of neutron star astrophysics topics, especially on superfluid dynamics, timing noise, and magnetar flares, as well as x-ray emission from the neutron stars.

Dr Claire Foullon (University of Exeter) will visit in July 2014. This collaboration will work to elucidate the role and explore the forecasting potential of dynamical signatures of fast coronal eruptions (quakes and Kelvin-Helmholtz waves) at the early stage of their inception for determining plasma and magnetic field conditions observed within the Sun.

Dr Chris Tout (Cambridge University) will visit from Feb-April 2014, and will work with the SINS and SPH group to address two separate problems: 1) Magnetic Fields in Stellar Evolution and 2) Common Envelope Evolution in Binary Stars.

2013 Visitors

Dr Anibal Garcia-Hernandez (Canary Islands Institute for Astrophysics, Spain) will be hosted by Dr Maria Lugaro in Oct and Nov. They will be working on observational evidence for nuclear reactions occurring in intermediate mass red-giant stars.

Dr Valery Suleimanov (University of Tubingen, Germany) will visit Dr Duncan Galloway in August. They will continue their research into exploding neutron stars.

2012 Visitors

Associate Professor Andrew Cumming (McGill Univ, Canada) will be hosted by Duncan Galloway for 6 weeks from May to July 2012. They will be working on thermonuclear bursts from neutron stars.

Professor Giancarla Imbriani (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics (LUNA), Italy) will be hosted by Maria Lugaro. They will be examining the impact of new reaction rate measurements at LUNA. The visit will be for a month in 2012.

Associate Professor Ilia Roussev (Institute for Astronomy, Hawaii) will be hosted by Alina Donea and Paul Cally. This visit will be for 2 months starting in Jan 2012 and it will enable the Clique du Solei group within MoCA to continue extending their expertise into Space Weather phenomena.

Professor Brad Gibson (UC Lancashire) will be hosted by Maria Lugaro and John Lattanzio for a 9 month visit. Brad will spend most of 2012 at MoCA, starting in Jan, and working with the Stellar Interiors and Nucleosynthesis group on chemical evolution as well as the formation of the halo.

Professor Ariane Lancon (Strasbourg Observatory, France) will be hosted by John Lattanzio. Work will focus on the interpretation of data recently obtained with the ESO/VLT/Xshooter instrument with emphasis on the analysis of spectra of luminous cool stars. This includes the estimation of the fundamental parameters of the latter, their surface abundances and their evolutionary status. This work will involve the SINS group as well as members of the Galaxy Evolution group. We will also take the opportunity to explore paths for student exchanges between Strasbourg Masters students and post grads at Monash. Interest in PhD projects in Australia has also been high, with several co supervised PhDs already completed at other institutions. This is a chance to add Monash to that list.

Professor Christopher Conselice (University of Nottingham) will be hosted by Samantha Penny in September 2012. Chris will be working with the Galaxy Evolution Group on several projects related to galaxy evolution in the Local Universe and beyond.