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Cassandra Hall, Assistant Professor of Computational Astrophysics
Biographical Information
  • PhD, University of Edinburgh, 2017
Honors and Awards
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2021
  • Royal Astronomical Society Winton Award for Early Achievement in Astronomy, 2021
  • Lilly Teaching Fellow, University of Georgia, 2021-2023
  • Winton Exoplanet Fellowship, 2018-2020
  • STFC PhD Scholarship, 2013-2017

Research Interests

Thousands of new worlds beyond our own solar system have been discovered, revealing a hugely diverse exoplanetary architecture.

Exoplanets form in evolving protoplanetary accretion discs. The conditions in these discs decide the final mass and ultimate orbital configuration of their exoplanetary systems, causing diversity in the exoplanet architecture.

As exoplanets form, they leave behind signatures of their formation that can be detected in interferometric mm observations, such as rings and spirals.

In order to try and measure the mass of these forming in planets inside their nascent discs, we typically perform around 100 dusty fluid simulations for each observed system, and try to get the mass this way. However, this is incredibly inefficient, inaccurate, and profoundly limits the regions of parameter space we can explore.

At UGA, I am building a research group that will move past this outdated model by harnessing the power of machine learning and information extraction. We are developing neural network techniques that are widely applicable, user-friendly, and around 10,000 times more computationally efficient than current approaches to determining exoplanet mass in forming systems.

Recent Publications

  1. Pinte C., Teague R., Flaherty K., Hall C., Facchini S. and Casassus S., Kinematic Structures in Planet-Forming Disks, PP7 Chapter.
  2. *Cadman J., Hall C., Fontanive C. and Rice K., Binary companions triggering fragmentation in self-gravitating discs, accepted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  3. *Longarini C., Lodato G., Toci, C., Veronesi B., Hall C., Dong R., Terry J. P., Investigating protoplanetary disc cooling through kinematics: analytical GI wiggle, accepted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
  4. *Terry J. P., Hall C., Longarini C., Lodato G., Toci C., Veronesi B., Paneque-Carreño T. and Pinte C., Constraining protoplanetary disc mass using the GI wiggle, accepted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  5. Auddy S., Dey R., Lin M. K. & Hall C., Finding hidden planets in protoplanetary disk gaps with convolutional neural networks: DPNNet-2.0,  The Astrophysical Journal, 920, 3,  2021.
  6. *Veronesi B., Paneque-Carreño T., Lodato G., Testi L., Pérez  L. M., Bertin G. and Hall C., A Dynamical Measurement of the Disk Mass in Elias 227,
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 914, L27, 2021.
  7. *Cadman J., Rice K. & Hall C.,AB Aurigae: Possible evidence of planet formation through the gravitational instability,  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 504,2877, 2021.
  8. *Paneque-Carreno T., Perez L. M. , Benisty M. , Hall C.,Veronesi B., Lodato G., Sierra A., Carpenter J. M., Andrews S. M., Jaehan Bae, Henning T. H., Kwon W., Linz H., Loinard L., Pinte C., Ricci L., Tazarri M., Testi L. & Wilner D., Spiral Arms and a Massive Dust Disk with non-Keplerian Kinematics: Possible Evidence for Gravitational Instability in the Disk of Elias 2-27The Astrophysical Journal, 914, 88, 2021.
  9. Pascucci I., Banzatti A., Gorti U., Fang M., Pontoppidan K., Alexander R. D., Ballabio G. ,Edwards S., Salyk C., Sacco G., Flaccomio E. , Blake G. A., Carmona A., Hall C., Kamp I., Kaufl H. U. , Meeus G., Meyer M., Pauli T., Steendam S. & Sterzik M., The evolution of disc winds from a combined study of optical and infrared forbidden lines , The Astrophysical Journal, 903, 78, 2020. 
  10. Disk Dynamics Collaboration (including Hall), Visualizing the kinematics of planet formation, submitted.
  11. Ilee J. D., Hall C., Walsh C., Jiménez-Serra I., Pinte C., Terry J. P., Bourke T. & Hoare M., Observing protoplanetary discs with the Square Kilometre Array — I. Characterising pebble substructure caused by forming planetsMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 498, 5116, 2020.
  12. *Cadman J., Hall C., Rice K., Harries T. J. & Klaasen P. D., The observational impact of dust trapping in self-gravitating discsMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 498, 4256, 2020.
  13. *Humphries J., Hall C., Haworth T. J. & Nayakshin S., Searching for wide-orbit gravitational instability protoplanets with ALMA, accepted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2020.
  14. Hall C., Dong R., Teague R., Terry J., Pinte C., Paneque T., Veronesi B., Alexander R. D., & Lodato G., Predicting the kinematic evidence of gravitational instability, The Astrophysical Journal, 904, 148, 2020.
  15. Nayakshin S., Tsukagoshi T., Hall C., Vazan A., Helled R., Meru F., Neunteufel P., Panic O., Price P., TW Hya: an old protoplanetary disc revived by its planetMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 495, 285, 2020.
  16. Haworth T. J., Cadman J., Meru F., Hall C., Albertini E., Forgan D. H., Rice K., Owen J. E., Massive discs around low-mass stars, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 494, 4130, 2020.
  17. *Cadman J., Rice K., Hall C., Haworth T.J., Biller B.,Fragmentation favoured in discs around higher mass starsMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 492, 5041, 2020.
  18. *Veronesi B., Lodato G., Dipierro G., Ragusa E., Hall C., Price D. J., Multi-wavelength observations of protoplanetary discs as a proxy for the gas disc massMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 489, 3758, 2019.
  19. Hall C., Dong R., Rice K., Harries T. J., Najita J., Alexander R. D., Brittain S, The Temporal Requirements of Directly Observing Self-gravitating Spiral Waves in Protoplanetary Disks with ALMA, The Astrophysical Journal, 871, 228, 2019.
  20. Quénard D., Ilee J. D., Jimnez-Serra I., Forgan D. H., Hall C., Rice W. K. M.,The Fate of Formamide in a Fragmenting Protoplanetary Disk, The Astrophysical Journal, 868, 9, 2018
  21. Hall C., Rice W. K. M., Dipierro G., Forgan D. H., Harries T. J., Alexander R. D.,Is the spiral morphology of the Elias 2-27 circumstellar disc due to gravitational instability? , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 477, 1004, 2018.
  22. Dipierro G., Ricci L., Prez L., Lodato G., Alexander R. D., Laibe G., Andrews S., Carpenter J. M., Chandler C. J., Greaves J. A., Hall C., Henning T., Kwon W., Linz H., Mundy L., Sargent A., Tazzari M., Testi L., Wilner D., Rings and gaps in the disc around Elias 24 revealed by ALMAMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 475, 5296
  23. Forgan D. H., Hall C., Meru F., Rice W. K. M., Towards a population synthesis model of self-gravitating disc fragmentation and tidal downsizing II: the effect of fragment-fragment interactionsMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 474, 536, 2018.
  24. Ilee J. D., Forgan D. H., Evans M. G., Hall C., Booth R., Clarke C. J., Rice W. K. M., Boley A. C., Caselli P., Hartquist T. W., Rawlings J. M. C., The chemistry of protoplanetary fragments formed via gravitational instabilities, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 472, 189, 2017.
  25. Hall C., Forgan D. H., Rice W. K. M., Identifying and analysing protostellar disc fragments in smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 470, 2517, 2017.
  26. Hall, C., Forgan, D., Rice, K., Harries, T.J., Klaasen, P.D., Biller, D.,   Directly observing continuum emission from self-gravitating spiral wavesMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 458, 306-318, 2016.
  27. Dong R., Hall C., Rice W. K. M., Chiang E., Spiral arms in gravitationally unstable protoplanetary disks as imaged in scattered light, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 812, L32, 2015.