Oliver Hall

Research Fellow


Main Research Fields

Hi! My research focuses on asteroseismology, the study of sound waves inside stars. Specifically I am interested in solar-like oscillators, stars that oscillate in the same manner as the Sun. This includes main sequence stars like the Sun as well as Red Giant stars! By studying sound waves under their surface, we can extract their fundamental parameters such as mass, radius, and even age.

My interest lies in using asteroseismology in population studies. Asteroseismology on a large scale is a relatively new undertaking, facilitated by the CoRoT, Kepler and TESS telescopes, and bolstered by ESA's own Gaia mission. Asteroseismology brings new data to the table, which can be used to make new inferences, both of astronomical techniques and the physics underlying how stars and galaxies work.

To leverage asteroseismic data, I use Bayesian statistics, a framework that expresses all uncertainties on observations as probability distributions, and allows you to incorporate your prior expectations about the data. This is especially helpful when using large data sets with varying uncertainties from different sources, getting us more precise results at the end.

Previously, I've looked into how systematics in asteroseismic techniques and systematics from the Gaia mission affect the measurement of the luminosity of Red Clump stars, using hierarchical models. I'm looking forward to expanding this research with future Gaia data releases. At the moment, I'm studying the relationship between age, mass and stellar rotation on the main sequence, using new asteroseismic rotation rates and population models calibrated to Gaia data. Understanding this relationship is useful for obtaining ages of main sequence stars, which can otherwise be hard to come by.

Besides research, I also like to contribute to open source code for the Astronomy community. I'm a core contributer of the Lightkurve package, and am involved with open source asteroseismic data pipelines such PBJam and the TASOC pipeline. I'm also a writer for Astrobites!


  • Asteroseismology
  • Solar-like oscillators
  • Gyrochronology
  • Bayesian Statistics
  • Hierarchical Models
  • Gaussian Processes
  • Current Missions: Kepler, K2, TESS, Gaia, PLATO
  • Future Missions: PLATO

Ongoing collaborations

  • Gaia Reserach Gropu at ESA (ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands)
  • Sun, Stars & Exoplanets group (Birmingham, UK)
  • The TASOC Collaboration - Mikkel Lund, Rasmus Handberg, Derek Buzasi + international collaborators (Aarhus, Denmark + elsewhere)
  • Jennifer van Saders, Jamie Tayar, Nick Saunders (Honolulu, USA)
  • Keith Hawkins (Austin, USA)
  • Ruth Angus (New York, USA)
  • Victor See, Louis Amard, Angela Breimann (Exeter, UK)
  • Rafael Garcia (Paris, France)
  • Daniel Hey (Sydney, Australia)


For an up to date record of my publications, see my SAO/NASA ADS records.

Slides from public talks I have given can be found on my Speakerdeck.

Project/mission at ESA