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  NGC3949 :  Hubble Space Telescope image taken by S. Smartt (Credit : NASA/ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team STSCI/AURA)

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 I am Director of the Astrophysics Research Centre in the School of Maths and Physics at Queen's University Belfast.  I hold an ERC Advanced grant  (2012 - 2017) for work on superluminous supernovae and the stars that produce them The project  "Ultraluminous supernovae : origins and cosmic evolution" has quantified the physical nature of these unusually brilliant stellar explosions. For highlights, visit my ERC project page here. 
As part of this project, I lead the Pan-STARRS Survey for Transients, which currently leads the world's supernova discoveries. PESSTO is the leading classification project - from the statistics on the IAU Transient Name Server site.



My group works on supernovae and the deaths of massive stars. We have leading roles in two large  international projects to study supernovae and the transient Universe.  We are partners in the Pan-STARRS project  and  I am PI and Survey Director of PESSTO, the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects.   This is a public spectroscopic survey at La Silla, (the European Southern Observatory in Chile) using 90 nights per year on the New Technology Telescope.

I am a previous holder of a European Young Investigator (EURYI) Award and PPARC Advanced Fellowship. I have held positions at  the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge and the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma.   A CV can be found here. 

For the last decade I have been searching for the progenitors core-collapse supernovae in images of galaxies taken before explosion, much like the one of NGC3949  shown above, that I took with the Hubble Space Telescope. The results of this work were published in Smartt, Eldridge, Crockett & Maund (2009, The death of massive stars I) and in Eldridge, Fraser, Smartt, Maund, Crockett (2013, The death of massive stars II). My review article on this topic for the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 2009  be accessed here : "Progenitors of core-collapse supernovae", S.J. Smartt, 2009, ARA&A, 47, 63 . I have published an updated review here : Observational Constraints on the Progenitors of Core-collapse supernovae : The case for missing high mass stars, 2015, PASA, 32, 16

My publications (ADS link)