Christene Lynch

University of North Carolina, Asheville

University Fellow

My research focuses on understanding magnetism in stars and planets using multi-wavelength observations. As part of this research, I used state-of-the-art telescopes to develop emission models that apply to the broader population of magnetic stars. I also demonstrated the great utility of polarised imaging in the radio for detecting faint transient emissions. This work resulted in the first detection of stellar emission using modern MHz-frequency interferometers. This tantalizing result hints at a much larger radio bright magnetic stellar population and takes the first steps to broaden radio astronomy transient searches to include polarization.

In the future, I want to combine the survey power of the future Rubin LSST in the optical and the Square Kilometre Array and next generation Very Large Array in the radio to conduct a full population study of magnetism in low-mass stars and their magnetic interactions with orbiting planets. Optical studies of these stars will provide information about atmospheric heating and the energetics associated with bursty magnetic emission. Radio observations will probe directly the magnetic structures in low-mass stars and determine if the stellar magnetic fields are interacting with nearby planets.

Outside of science, I devote a great deal of my time trying to make Astronomy and academia more inclusive. I have chaired a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at my previous institution, as well as helped create my research institution’s Black Lives Matter Action Committee. I am an active volunteer for outreach programs targeting K-12 students from underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

Contact Christene Lynch