Institute of Astronomy

Dr Mihkel Kama


Office: Hoyle H36
Office Tel: (01223) 337504
More Info (Internal)



Can the composition of a planet tell us something about its formation history? I'm interested in the physical and chemical conditions and processes in planet-forming environments, and in how those relate to the properties of planets and planetary systems. Most of my current work deals with elemental abundances and volatiles in protoplanetary disks, employing powerful telescopes like ALMA and APEX, and physical-chemical disk models. I also do a bit of work on debris disks and molecular spectroscopic studies of star forming regions.

Selected papers

Volatile locking and release in protoplanetary disks (detailed modelling of molecular and atomic lines from TW Hya and HD 100546, confirming a factor 100 depletion of C and O in the TW Hya disk, and determining that C/O > 1; Kama et al. 2016b)

Observations and modelling of CO and [Ci] in protoplanetary disks (definitive detections of atomic carbon in disks and modelling which relates it to the level of carbon depletion; Kama et al. 2016a)

Fingerprints of giant planets in the photospheres of Herbig stars (young A-type stars hosting transitional disks have photospheres depleted of refractory elements -- matching the high gas-to-dust ratio in their dust-depleted gaps and cavities; Kama, Folsom & Pinilla 2015)

Inner rim structures of protoplanetary disks (numerical and analytical models of the dust sublimation region; Kama et al. 2009)


Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, IoA, University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the groups of Nikku Madhusudhan, Cathie Clarke, Mark Wyatt, Oliver Shorttle (current)

Research Associate, Leiden Observatory, astrochemistry group of Ewine van Dishoeck (2013-2016)

PhD, University of Amsterdam, thesis advisor Carsten Dominik (2008-2013)

MSc (cum laude), University of Amsterdam, thesis advisor Carsten Dominik (2006-2008)

BS, University of Tartu, Estonia, thesis advisor Indrek Kolka (2003-2006)

Page last updated: 23 August 2017 at 11:47