Our research explores almost every aspect of the hunt for, and study of, planets outside our Solar System.

We use a variety of observing techniques, including :

  1. Bullet"Doppler Wobble" searches for planets orbiting Sun-like stars, sub-giants, M-dwarfs and transit -planet hosts;

  2. BulletDirect imaging of long-period companion systems with NICI on Gemini

  3. Bullet"Direct" detection searches for planetary-mass members of nearby star clusters; and

  4. BulletDirect searches for the coldest planetary-mass brown dwarfs in large sky surveys.

We also explore the theory of the formation of exoplanets, and their dynamical evolution and survival.

The search for extrasolar planets, and the understanding of the habitability of those planets, is a key component of the global, multi-disciplinary astrobiology initiative. Our group is a key component of the Australian Centre for Astrobiology here at UNSW.

We also lead new instrumentation projects like the new CYCLOPS and CYCLOPS2 fibre feeds for the Anglo-Australian Telescope, and the Veloce spectrograph project.

Prospective PhD students from UNSW and elsewhere interested in working in exoplanetary science are encouraged to contact me to discuss possible research projects. I have funds to provide top-up support of $6000 per annum for PhD students with APAs or international scholarships.

UNSW Physics Honours students can also undertake research projects in our group - details on projects currently on offer can be found to here.

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW People

  1. BulletProfessor Chris Tinney - UNSW ResearchGate page,  Personal page and PHYS2160 (2013) page

  2. BulletDr Rob Wittenmyer (Lecturer)

  3. BulletDr Jade Carter-Bond (Research Associate)

  4. BulletDr Jonti Horner (Research Associate)

  5. BulletDr Graeme Salter (Super Science Fellow)

  6. BulletDr Duncan Wright (Super Science Fellow)

  7. BulletMr Brett Addison (PhD student)

  8. BulletMs Daniela Opitz (PhD student)

Former Team members

  1. BulletDr Stephen Parker (completed PhD in 2013)

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Publications

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Funding

Contact details

  1. Prof. Chris Tinney

  2. School of Physics

  3. University of NSW. 2052

  4. Australia

  5. Ph: +61 2 9385 5168

  6. Fax: +61 2 9385 6060

  7. c dot tinney at unsw dot edu dot au

Major Projects

  1. BulletAnglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS) - searching m
    ore than 200 nearby stars for  exoplanets ... and finding more than 40 of them!

  2. BulletThe Australian Centre for Astrobiology is a UNSW Centre, of which Chris Tinney is a Co-Director.

  3. BulletCYCLOPS - a new model for fibre injection of an echelle spectrograph, enabling precision velocities for fainter stars.

  4. BulletVeloce -
    a next-generation fibre-IFU-fed precision Doppler spectrograph for the AAT.

  5. BulletPlanet Search with Gemini NICI - a Gemini program to image AAPS stars that we know have long-period companions, so that we can find out if they are massive, very-long-period brown dwarfs, or undetectable shorter-period planets.

  6. BulletPan-Pacific Planet Search - a search for giant planets orbiting sub-giant stars

  7. BulletA Habitable-zone M-dwarf Planet Search using the AAT.

  8. BulletNPARSEC - an ESO Large Programme to measure parallax distances for 60 T-type brown dwarfs at the New Technology Telescope over the next three years.

  9. BulletMining the southern sky for Y dwarfs - Exoplanetary Science at UNSW group members are collaborating with the NASA WISE Brown Dwarf Science team on the follow-up of all the T- and Y-type brown dwarfs in WISE's all-sky survey database.

  10. BulletAST3 Exoplanet Working Group

Australian Center for Astrobiology
- members in Astrophysics

  1. BulletProfessor Chris Tinney (Deputy Director)

  2. BulletMr Brett Addisson

  3. BulletA/Professor Jeremy Bailey

  4. BulletProfessor John Webb

  5. BulletProfessor Michael Burton

  6. BulletDr Maria Cunningham

  7. BulletDr Lucyna Kedziora-Chudzer

  8. BulletDr Jonti Horner

  9. BulletDr Duncan Wright

  10. BulletDr Graeme Salter

PhD, Honours & Undergraduate Students

  1. BulletPhD Projects

  2. BulletHonours Projects for 2011

  3. BulletVacation Scholarships

Exoplanetary Science at UNSW Links

  1. Anglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS)

  2. Australian Centre for Astrobiology

  3. UNSW Astrophysics

  4. UNSW Physics

Miscellaneous links

  1. BulletSeen something weird in the sky? Want to know what's happening this month? Then visit Sydney Observatory's very cool blog.

  2. BulletDetailed analysis of AAO CCD non-linearity released.

  3. BulletCorrecting the SOFI shade

  4. BulletBefore moving to UNSW I was at the AAO for 12 years & was responsible at various times for IRIS2, WFI, UCLES, and the EEV & MITLL CCDs.

This page last updated 14 February 2014


Finding Us

The bookmark on the google map below will get you to the main entrance of the 'Old Main Building' ('Old Main' because it was the home of the Chancellery, at the University's foundation



  1. Top-up scholarships of $6000 per annum are available for PhD students working in our group

  1. BulletThe Third Australian Exoplanetary Science Workshop will take place Dec  5-6 at Swinburne University. Both Chinese and Australian astronomers interested in exoplanet science are warmly invited to take part.

  2. BulletThere will be a Workshop in Nanjing Oct 10-11 on AST3 data and planning for future exoplanet experiments.

  3. Bullet28 Aug 2013 - ABC Online and ABC's StarStuff cover Brett Addison's WASP79b polar orbit result.

  4. Bullet23 Aug 2013 - Call me Dr Parker. PhD student Stephen Parker has been informed by the University he has passed the requirements and been recommended for admission to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Congratulations Stephen!

  5. BulletApplications for Summer Vacation Research Scholarships sponsored by the Faculty of Science have opened (and will close on Sep 20). The School of Physics will also have its own Scholarships. A variety of projects in Exoplanetary Science & Astrophysics are available - usually similar to those offered for Honours projects in Physics.

  6. BulletThe Faculty of Science Postgraduate Research Competition is taking place on August 22. Come along and see some of the research leaders of the future strut their stuff.

  7. Bullet20 July 2013 - The FunnelWeb Project will be holding its first Science Workshop at UNSW on August 7. If you're interested in this exciting new project, please register to come along!

  8. Bullet11 July 2013 - Kepler has one last chance for life after its 2nd reaction wheel died. Chris Tinney comments in The Conversation.

  9. Bullet1-2 July 2013 - The Australian Astrobiology Workshop 2013 took place at UNSW, sponsored by the Australian Centre for Astrobiology.

  10. Bullet14 June 2013 - Science with Veloce Workshop.

    Campus map with best coffee venues here.

  11. Bullet06 June 2013 - Papers on the new planet HATS-3b (Bayliss et al.) and measuring the Rossiter-Mclaughlin effect in WASP-79 (Addison et al.) submitted to ApJ and amongst the papers and posters presented by Exoplanetary Science at UNSW members at IAU Symposium 299 in Victoria, BC.

  12. Bullet02 May 2013 - Dr Jade Carter-Bond comments on new diamond planet results in New Scientist.

  13. Bullet14 Nov 2012 - UNSW had a great night at the 2012 NSW Science and Engineering Awards, including Chris Tinney taking home the Excellence award in Physics, Maths, Chemistry & Astronomy.

  14. Bullet14 Nov 2012 - COSMOS and ABC Online ask about the true nature of the object CFBDSIR2149 - planet or brown dwarf?

  15. Bullet14 Nov 2012 - The ABC has broadcast Chris Tinney's 2012 Harley Wood Lecture as part of its Big Ideas series. You can listen or download the lecture at the Big Ideas website.

  16. Bullet16 Oct 2012 - AST3 Exoplanet Working Group on Chinese-Australian Collaboration

  17. Bullet16 Sep 2012 - Veloce project.

  18. Bullet14 Sep 2012 - 2nd Australian Exoplanet Workshop will take place on 10-11 Dec 2012 at Mt Stromlo Observatory, Canberra. See

  19. Bullet4 Sep 2012 - CYCLOPS2 Commissioning!

  20. Bullet2 Feb 2012 - A team of international astronomers (including UNSW members of the Magellan Planet Search) have announced the detection of a planet of at least 4.5 Earth masses in the "habitable" zone of the star GJ 667C. The story is available at ABC Online, COMOS Online, and many other places. The Sydney Morning Herald have AFP coverage from the related Carnegie release. See here for the UNSW release.

  21. Bullet10 Sep 2009 - AAPS featured on ABC TV's Catalyst. See the video!

  22. Bullet15 Jan 09 - Stephen Parker and Chris Tinney observe at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile. See the movie that ESO made!

  23. See the News page for more details and an archive of older items.