John Wisniewski

Presidential Professor, Assistant Professor



Presidential Professorship



B.S. 1999 University of Wisconsin

Ph.D. 2005 University of Toledo



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Ph: (405) 325-7023

Office: 241 Nielsen Hall


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Research Description

I am interested in studying circumstellar disks. Circumstellar disks are ubiquitous throughout all stages of stellar evolution for all masses of stars: they guide the accretion of matter in star formation, serve as the birthplace of planets and may influence the subsequent migration of these bodies, and shape stellar outflows in later stages of stellar evolution. I use multi-wavelength observational techniques, using ground- and space-based facilities, to investigate the structure, evolution, and origin of circumstellar disks.

Recently, my research has focused on analyzing high contrast imagery of nearby disks using the HiCIAO coronagraph at the Subaru 8.2m telescope on Mauna Kea, as part of the Strategic Exploration of Exoplanets and Disks with Subaru (SEEDS) project. Although we know that dust grains in young protoplanetary disks serve as the seed material for the production of young exoplanets, we do not know how grain properties differ/evolve as a function of age or radiation field. To address this fundamental question, my colleagues and I are imaging roughly 200 nearby, young disks via the SEEDS survey. With this exquisite imagery, we can also search for morphological signatures of young planets that are forming or have recently formed in these disks, such as disk gaps, spiral arms, and geometrical offsets.

Selected Publications

"Kepler Flares IV: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Activity of GJ 1243," Silverberg, S., Kowalski, A., Davenport, J., Wisniewski, J., Hawley, S., & Hilton, E., AJ, in press, (2016)

"Thermal Infrared Imaging and Atmospheric Modeling of VHS J125601.92-125723.9 b: Evidence for Moderately Thick Clouds and Equilibrium Carbon Chemistry in a Hierarchical Triple System," Rich, E., Currie, T., Wisniewski, J., Hashimoto, J., Brandt, T., Carson, J., Kuzuhara, M., & Uyama, T., ApJ, in press, (2016)

"Constraining the Movement of the Spiral Features and the Locations of Planetary Bodies within the AB Aur System," Lomax, J., Wisniewski, J. et al., ApJ, in press, (2016)

"Near-IR Polarized Scattered Light Imagery of the DoAr 28 Transitional Disk," Rich, E., Wisniewski, J. et al, AJ, 150, 86, (2015) ADS: 2015AJ....150...86R

"Characterizing the Rigidly Rotating Magnetosphere Stars HD 345439 and HD 23478," Wisniewski, J.P. , Chojnowski, S.D., Davenport, J., Bartz, J., Pepper, J., Whelan, D., Eikenberry, S., Lomax, J, Majewski, S., Richardson, N., & Skrutskie, M., ApJL, 811, 26, (2015) ADS: 2015ApJ...811L..26W

Research Group

Brennan Kerkstra, Graduate Student
Kellen Lawson, Graduate Student
Evan Rich, Graduate Student
Steven Silverberg, Graduate Student