Anthony Marston


Main Research Fields

My main scientific interest for many years has been the study of evolved massive stars, and in particular Wolf-Rayet stars. Wolf-Rayet stars are believed to have evolved from O stars with an initial mass greater than 20 solar masses. There are relatively few known in the galaxy (230 or so) yet their very strong winds and high luminosities have a significant effect on their surroundings and what they tell us about extragalactic star formation processes (e.g., the so-called Wolf-Rayet galaxies).

Problem: Understanding massive star evolution: there are few known and they evolve fast (few million years).

  1. Common belief that such stars formed in Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs). But many Wolf-Rayet stars found well away from GMCs. Where are they born?
  2. We only know a few hundred we would expect thousands to exist in our galaxy - are we just seeing an observational bias? 
  3. How can we improve our knowledge of their evolution? What can their surroundings tell us?


My work has now extended to massive star formation with the availability of ESA/Herschel far-infrared observatory data and I am involved in several projects that look at stellar core, star and cluster formation in different environments using both space-based and ground-based data.


  • Massive Stars
  • Stellar Evolution
  • Cloud Cores
  • Star Formation

Ongoing collaborations

Currently associated with three major projects in these regards.

  1.  To find the distribution evolved massive stars in the galaxy - particularly Wolf-Rayet stars, with implications for star formation and the evolution of massive star clusters. Plus interactions with their environments [w/Mauerhan (Berkeley), Morris and Van Dyk (Caltech)].
  2.  Massive star formation and induced star formation – Herschel of star forming sites in different regions of the galaxy [w/Rivera-Ingraham (ESAC)].
  3.  Galactic Cold Cores: extensive molecular and sub-mm surveys of Planck detected cold cores [w/Juvela (Helsinki), Tie (KASPI) and the GCC group]

Some of these are expected to develop into JWST projects after my move to STScI in April 2016.

Project/mission at ESA

Archive Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (@ STScI from April 2016).