sci21115 — Announcement

New Gemini Staff

October 22, 2021


Joan Font Serra, Associate Scientist

Credit: J. Serra

Location: Chile

Past Experience: I have experience with NIFS as the instrument scientist, and with GNIRS new IFU mode. Before that, I have supported several telescopes of all sizes, ranging from 1m to 10m class facilities. I have been the instrument scientist of GHaFaS, a Fabry-Perot spectrometer on the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma; that’s why I’m particularly interested in IFU instruments.

Research Interests: Extragalactic astrophysics, and more specifically in studying the dynamics of disk galaxies, and how this is related to the morphology of galaxies.

Observatory Service Duties: Joan will be handling queue coordination, user support of accepted programs and supporting our existing instruments.


Brian C. Lemaux, Assistant Scientist

Credit: B. Lemaux

Location: Hawai‘i

Past Experience: I was formerly a researcher at the University of California, Davis and, before that, in Marseille, France. While there, I helped with planning and running over 100 nights of optical and near-infrared observations on large ground-based telescopes, mostly the VLT, Keck, and Subaru.

Research Interests: I study pretty much everything I can about how galaxies and the largest-scale structures in the Universe form and evolve. My specialty is finding large associations of galaxies, called clusters and proto-clusters, in the distant Universe and studying how galaxies interact with these environments

Observatory Service Duties: I will definitely be supporting GNIRS and GMOS, observing, helping to coordinate observations, and lots of other cool things to help people get the most out of their Gemini data.


Mark Rawlings, Associate Scientist 

Credit: M. Rawlings

Location: Hawai‘i
Past Experience: I was a graduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and the University of Central Lancashire (UK) before becoming a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Since then, I've been a member of the science support staff at a number of observatory facilities, including UKIRT (Hawai‘i), ALMA (Chile), NRAO (Charlottesville, VA) and the JCMT (Hawai‘i).
Research Interests: My primary areas of scientific interest include the properties of the dust and molecules that make up the interstellar medium with a focus on the Diffuse Interstellar Bands, the properties and structure of star-forming regions, and the environments around evolved stars. I am also currently a member of a number of large scientific consortia, including multiple JCMT Large Programs and the Event Horizon Telescope.
Observatory Service Duties: Scientific support and commissioning for Gemini North, with initial emphasis on the GNIRS instrument.


Clara Martínez-Vázquez, Science Fellow

Credit: C. Martínez-Vázquez

Location: Hawai‘i 

Past Experience: I was a postdoc at CTIO and my duties were focused on the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) at the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope, specifically as part of the DECam Science support team.

Research Interests: My main scientific interests are in stellar populations, galaxy formation and evolution, and time domain astronomy. My research focuses on the resolved stellar populations in the Local Group in different environments, in particular, on the use of pulsating variable stars such as RR Lyrae, Cepheids, delta Scuti stars as standard candles and as probes of the evolution of Local Group galaxies and globular clusters.

Observatory Service Duties: I will be part of the GMOS-N team.


Zachary Hartman, Science Fellow

Credit: J. Pollard

Location: Hawai‘i
Past Experience: Many nights observing using larger telescopes such as the Lowell Discovery Telescope. I am an experienced speckle imaging observer and I have reduced many nights of speckle data. 
Research Interests: Binary stars of all types, but mainly looking for close companions in low-mass wide binaries.
Observatory Service Duties: Providing support for several instruments including `Alopeke and NIRI. Helping out with observations as well.


Christophe Clergeon, Adaptive Optics Associate Scientist

Credit: C. Clergeon

Location: Hawai‘i

Past Experience: Subaru telescope Hawai‘i: research intern (PhD) in SCExAO team (2010–2014),  AO scientists for Instrument division (2014–2021).

Observatory Service Duties: Providing support for the operation and development of adaptive optics systems at Gemini Observatory.

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