David Jones is an astronomer currently based at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias on the Spanish island of La Palma. He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester (UK) in 2011 for his thesis entitled “The Influence of Central Star Binarity on the Morphologies of Planetary Nebulae”. David’s research continues to focus primarily around this theme, though he now works mainly on what the planetary nebulae can tell us about about binary stellar evolution – particularly in terms of the very poorly understood common-envelope phase. He is member of the organising committee of the International Astronomical Union’s commission H3: Planetary Nebulae. He is an active developer of the next-generation binary star modelling code PHOEBE2. He has given numerous talks, both invited and contributed, on his work at international conferences (see here for a list), and has written invited reviews on the subject for Nature Astronomy, as a chapter in “The Impact of Binaries on Stellar Evolution” (CUP 2019) and is currently writing book entitled “The Importance of Binaries in the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Nebulae” (Springer 2019). You can read his (probably out-of-date, sorry!) CV here and a list of his publications (much more likely to be up-to-date) here.
During his doctoral studies he spent one year supporting operations on the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope, one of the many telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (La Palma). This was only the beginning as his career has always had a marked observational flavour (both in terms of his research and in supporting telescope operations – see here for a complete list of his wide ranging observing experience). In 2011, he moved to Chile as an ESO Fellow supporting operations on the World’s most advanced optical observatory – the Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal, high in the Chilean Andes. There he spent three years dividing his time between his research and supporting operations on two of the four unit telescopes, executing service observations for astronomers around the World (with various instruments including X-Shooter, KMOS, UVES and FLAMES) and forming an integral part of the instrument operations team of FORS2 (the most-demanded instrument during his time at the observatory). In the final year of his ESO Fellowship, he moved to the Universidad de Atacama to help found their fledgling astronomy department. In 2014, he returned “home” to La Palma to take up a post-doctoral position at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, where he has been ever since.
David has always been dedicated to training the next-generation of astronomers, supervising several Masters, Doctoral and Summer students (for a full list see his CV here). He is his institutes PI for the ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships “Per Aspera Ad Astra Simul” and “European Collaborating Astronomer Projects: España-Czechia-Slovakia”, which provides opportunites for young researchers to spend time working abroad, gaining valuable experience and building larger collaborations. He is also passionate about outreach, doing his best to share his love of astronomy with the general public, a few examples of which are listed below:
A Jodcast interview about working at the Very Large Telescope
Another Jodcast interview, this time about the amazing planetary nebula Fg 1
Ask an Astronomer session in which he does his best to answer questions on subjects ranging from “How do we see detect planets around other stars?” to “What is the edge of space?”
An interview for the SciFri Español podcast about planetary nebulae (in Spanish!)
A public talk given at the general meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society on the importance of planetary nebulae in understanding the common envelope phase