Understanding our own origins through the lens of the exoplanet catalog

Planet formation and evolution around M-Dwarfs

M-Dwarfs are the smallest and most numerous stars. Understanding planet formation and evolution around these diminutive suns is extremely relevant as they are the most common type of system hosting potentially-habitable, Earth-like planets probed by exoplanet survey missions. TESS (the Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite) has already begun to increase the number of known planets with masses similar to Earth that are potentially habitable. Unfortunately, planet formation around low-mass stars is still poorly understood. As a collaborator with the TESS science team, I investigate the dynamics of newly discovered multi-planet systems, and study the potential avenues for planet formation around M- dwarfs (see, for example, my contributions to the the characterization of TESS systems: Gilbert et al., 2020; and radial velocity studies of nearby low-mass stars: Feng et al., 2020). Additionally, I am currently studying habitable planet formation and atmosphere retention in M-dwarf systems with a variety of plausible disk parameters (see Clement et al. 2022). The accompanying video depicts a simulation of in-situ formation of a tightly-packed system of short-period planets around a small star.