Hi, I’m Fran Bartolić

I am a PhD candidate in Astrophysics at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews which is located in a small Scottish seaside town of St Andrews. I am also a member of the interdisciplinary Centre for Exoplanet Science at St Andrews.

My research interests revolve around building Bayesian probabilistic models for astrophysical time series data. The main focus of my research is gravitational microlensing, a particular method for detecting and characterizing exoplanets and Black Holes.

In addition to microlensing, in collaboration with researchers from the Centre for Computational Astrophysics in New York I am working on mapping the surfaces of planets and moons from one-dimensional time series brightness measurements. In the short term, this work will enable us to map volcanic activity on so called lava planets with NASA’s upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. In the long term, it will enable astronomers to map the surfaces of Earth size (and potentially Earth like) planets orbiting distant stars! Before starting my PhD, I worked on the interaction between evolving stars and the dynamics of exoplanets at Lund Observatory in Sweden. You can read more about my current and past research here.

I was born and raised in sunny Croatia where I finished an undergraduate and masters degree in physics. Other than astronomy statistics and machine learning, I am interested in all things related to complexity science, reading, cooking, listening to podcasts and a bunch of other things.