Valentin Christiaens

Research Fellow in Astrophysics, Monash University

My research aims to bring new pieces to the puzzle of planet formation through new observations using state-of-the-art telescopes and instruments, such as the Very Large Telescope (Chile) and ALMA (Chile), and development of novel tools/algorithms to extract the most information from these observations. I mostly focus on young Solar system analogs (a few million years old) in order to capture planet formation in-situ. My expertise covers:
1) high-contrast imaging in the infrared and data processing techniques that enable to detect the faint signal of planets hidden within the bright glare of their host star;
2) characterisation of the multi-colour signals of planets to infer their physical properties (temperature, gravity, mass, radius, age);
3) sub-millimetre/radio observations of the birth environment of these planets (so-called protoplanetary discs);
4) characterisation of structures in these discs (e.g. spiral arms).

2018 - now: Postdoctoral researcher (Monash University)
2013-2018: PhD in Astronomy (University of Chile & University of Liège, Belgium)
2010-2012: MSc in Space Sciences (University of Liège)
2007-2010: BSc in Physics (University of Liège)

PUBLICATIONS (as a key author):


  • –present
    Research Fellow in Astrophysics, Monash University


  • 2019
    Evidence for a circumplanetary disc around protoplanet PDS 70 b, The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  • 2019
    Separating extended disc features from the protoplanet in PDS 70 using VLT/SINFONI, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • 2018
    Characterizaion of the low-mass companion HD 142527 B, Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • 2014
    Spiral arms in the fidisk of HD 142527 from CO emission lines with ALMA, The Astrophysical Journal Letters