Gilles Fontaine awarded the 2016 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics

It is with great pleasure that the Canadian Astronomical Society / Société Canadienne d’Astronomie recognizes and applauds the awarding by the Canadian Association of Physicists of the 2016 CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics to Gilles Fontaine, Université de Montréal, for his pioneering, world-renowned work in theoretical and observational studies of white dwarf stars and the late stages of stellar evolution, including major contributions to the equation of state for white dwarfs and investigations of pulsating compact stars, as well as the discovery of a new class of subdwarf pulsators. His leadership has built what is arguably the preeminent group in the world in this field.

(From the CAP press release:) A true follower of the tradition of excellence in the field of astrophysics in Canada, Professor Fontaine has distinguished himself internationally for the exceptional quality of his research in stellar astrophysics, especially for his study on the final phases of stellar evolution (white dwarfs and subdwarfs, the final products of stellar evolution for most stars). Not only did he build the foundations for an actual theory on the evolution of white dwarfs, he is also one of the pioneers who first used them as cosmochronometers independent from the other components of our galaxy. He also became a true leader in the field of astroseismology, the unique method by which we can examine the internal structure of stars by studying their “starquakes”, using observations and numerical modeling. His work in science, popular worldwide, has earned him multiples prizes and awards.

The full CAP press release is available here

Postdoc in extragalactic astronomy with CFHT+Subaru large datasets

The CFHT Large Area U-band Deep Survey (CLAUDS) is a 60-night dark-time program that obtains very deep (27AB, 5sigma in 2″ apertures) imaging of ~20 square degrees in sky area also being imaged to similar depths in grizy by the Subaru HyperSuprimeCam (HSC) strategic survey program. These data are divided into four roughly equal-sized fields of ~5 sq deg each and rich in ancillary data, namely the extended COSMOS, ELAIS-N1, DEEP2-3, and XMM LSS fields. This is by far the deepest u-band imaging ever obtained over this large an area and complements an equally superb Subaru optical dataset. CLAUDS data acquisition and processing is well underway and will be finished in 2016, while complementary Subaru HSC data are also being taken.

A postdoctoral fellow with experience in optical/IR extragalactic science will have significant freedom to work on projects of his/her interest that exploit the scientific potential of the combined CFHT+Subaru datasets. The position will be associated with Dr. Marcin Sawicki’s research group at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, but will also provide opportunities to collaborate with members of the HSC survey consortium, including those at Princeton and in numerous Japanese institutions. The fellow will also have time for independent research and he/she will be able to apply for Canadian time on ALMA, CFHT, Gemini, JCMT, and (starting in 2018) JWST.  As Dr. Sawicki is a member of the JWST-NIRISS Science Team, the fellow may also be able to contribute to the planning of Guaranteed Time Observations with that instrument.

The start date is negotiable but should be between May and October 2016. The appointment is initially for two years with the possibility of extension. Applicants should submit a CV, a statement of research interests, and arrange for three letters of reference to be sent separately to the email address below. The statement of research interest should ideally include a description of the science that the candidate would undertake by combining the CLAUDS u-band and Subaru grizy data.

The review of applications will begin on 1 May 2016 and all materials – as well as any questions – should be sent by that date to Dr. Marcin Sawicki, CLAUDS project lead, at