Annabelle Richard-Laferrière


Annabelle is a Master student in Physics at Université de Montréal (started in September 2017 as an NSERC and FRQNT scholar), supervised by Professor Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo. She did her undergraduate studies at Université de Montréal (2014-2017; with a Marie-Curie, a René-J.A.-Lévesque Excellence, and “Excelle Science” and a Georges-Baril Scholarship); while a second-year undergraduate student, she completed her final research project with Professor Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo. This project consisted of finding in the scientific literature previously-discovered radio mini-halos in galaxy clusters that could be linked to the powerful jets of active supermassive black holes in the central galaxy of the host cluster. She then looked at correlation between the characteristics of the mini-halos and their host galaxy cluster and the host’s central supermassive black hole to find a hint as to what may cause their apparition, as radio mini-halos are not a common object in the Universe. Indeed, only 29 have been discovered so far. A clear correlation was found between the power of the radio mini-halos and the power of the jets. She is currently writing a paper on that subject (see her publications in her CV).

Her research focus for her Master’s project is the study of the supermassive black hole at the center of PKS0745-BCG (z = 0.1028), the central galaxy of the galaxy cluster PKS0745-191, using observations from Hubble Space Telescope. The aim is to find its mass using the kinematics of the gas in the sphere of influence of the supermassive black hole, as it should be one of the most massive, if not the most massive, supermassive black holes in the Universe. This project brings her in close collaboration with Professor Jonelle Walsh of Texas A&M University, where she spend two weeks in November 2017 and three months from September to December 2018 (funded by Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program of NSERC and International Internship program of FRQNT).

She also enjoys doing outreach; for example she has volunteered at “Les filles et les sciences, un duo électrisant” since 2015 to encourage high-school girls to pursue careers in field that are predominantly male and at the “Astronomy in Tap” events of Montreal and College Station (TX). She is also an active member of the Departmental Diversity Physics committee which organize activities and conferences to promote diversity and acceptance in the physics department, through conferences and discussions.

She will be continuing her research doing a PhD at the University of _________________ under the supervision of ______________ starting in Fall 2019.


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