Presidential Professor, Associate Professor
I am interested in studying circumstellar disks. Circumstellar disks are ubiquitous throughout all stages of stellar evolution for all masses of stars: they guide the accretion of matter in star formation, serve as the birthplace of planets and may influence the subsequent migration of these bodies, and shape stellar outflows in later stages of stellar evolution. I use multi-wavelength observational techniques, using ground- and space-based facilities, to investigate the structure, evolution, and origin of circumstellar disks.
Recently, my research has focused on analyzing high contrast imagery of nearby disks using the HiCIAO coronagraph at the Subaru 8.2m telescope on Mauna Kea, as part of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) project. Although we know that dust grains in young protoplanetary disks serve as the seed material for the production of young exoplanets, we do not know how grain properties differ/evolve as a function of age or radiation field. To address this fundamental question, my colleagues and I are imaging roughly 200 nearby, young disks via the SEEDS survey. With this exquisite imagery, we can also search for morphological signatures of young planets that are forming or have recently formed in these disks, such as disk gaps, spiral arms, and geometrical offsets.
"The Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys Emission Line Survey of Andromeda. I: Classical Be Stars," Peters, M., Wisniewski, J. et al., AJ, (2020) arXiv: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1912.05627.pdf
"Peter Pan Disks: Long-lived Accretion Disks Around Young M Stars," Silverberg, S., Wisniewski, J., Kuchner, M., Lawson, K. et al, ApJ, (2020) arXiv: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2001.05030.pdf
"Multi-epoch Direct Imaging and Time-variable Scattered Light Morphology of the HD 163296 Protoplanetary Disk," Rich, E, Wisniewski, J., Currie, T. et al, ApJ, (2019) arXiv: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1811.07785.pdf
"Identification of Stellar Flares Using Differential Evolution Template Optimization," Lawson, K., Wisniewski, J., Bellm, E. et al, AJ, (2019) arXiv: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1903.03240.pdf
"High-fidelity Imaging of the Inner AU Mic Debris Disk: Evidence of Differential Wind Sculpting?," Wisniewski, J., Kowalski, A., Davenport, J. et al., ApJL, (2019) arXiv: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1907.10113.pdf