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Hi! I’m Heloise.

I’m an Astrophysicist interested in extra-galactic transients. Mostly supernovae and gravitational wave counterparts.

I’m French by birth, British by education and according to most people surveyed I have a South-African accent (I don’t).

 

Education


 

Under-graduate

I grew up and lived somewhere West of Paris for 18 years. I decided to move to England for University and did an undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield.

I spent my Master’s year (2014/2015) at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes working on my Master’s project and as a part-time support Astronomer at the Isaac Newton Telescope.

I did some research on Near-Earth Asteroids, and although I did not continue in this area of astronomy I got my fare share of observing fun out of it, so I can’t complain.


Post-graduate

I came back to Sheffield for my PhD in 2015 to work on the spectropolarimetry of core collapse supernovae: basically trying to figure out the shape of stellar explosions a few days to a few weeks after they’ve happened. You can check out my publications here, and if you’reinterested in the subject but are not in the field, I’ve got and introduction to core collapse supernovae and an introduction to spectropolarimetry.

 

Interests


Research

My research is focused on the massive stars end of our great big Universe. As mentioned above I’ve been working over the past few years on understanding the shape of core collapse supernova explosions. In the near futures I’ll also be focusing on understanding the origins of gravitational wave progenitors. If you want to know more, feel free to check out my Research Interests page.

Outreach and Science Communication

I love science and I love talking about it. During my PhD I participated in well over a dozen science communication events: from going into primary schools to opening an art gallery to most recently making an appearance on the radio. But talking is not all I do! I’m also building a library of infographics that break down and summarise cool astronomical concepts.

I you would like me to talk at your event or help you create a learning resource, feel free to get in touch!

Diversity

Not only am I a woman in a STEM field, but during my PhD I was a student representative. These experiences have made me aware of a great deal of diversity issues, both cultural and systemic, in the field of Astronomy and science in general. I am vocal about these, and engaged to create solutions, as well as listen to and amplify the voice of those that need it.

Visual design for science

One of my hobbies is to turn science into shapes. You can check out my graphics page to see some of my work. I believe an awareness of visual design is crucial to getting our message across as effectively as possible, whether it be in presentations or the plots of a paper.

My friends and colleagues come to me for advice when designing a plot or deck of slides, and you can too! All it will cost you is giving credit where credit is due ;)

If you need a creative partner, feel free to get in touch!

 

About my name


I publish under the name is Heloise F. Stevance, but actually my given name is Fanny Stevance. It was chosen by my French parents who unknowingly gave me a first name that is kind of rude in the language I speak most these days.

When I moved to England for Uni at the age of 18, I picked a less “loaded” first name, Heloise, and that is what most people call me these days. I still like my French name though, so I publish as H. F. Stevance.

Pronunciation tip:

The “h” is silent, because all h-s are silent in French.

Spelling tip:

It’s not Helouise, just Heloise.