Institute of Astronomy

- Marc Brouwers


Office: Obs O35
Office Tel: (01223) 337093
More Info (Internal)


Research Themes: Star Formation and Exoplanets

Research Keywords: Accretion, Planets, Solar System


My research is focused on the formation and evolution of planets and asteroids. In order to understand how different types of planets form, we must know how their interior conditions evolve over time. I have worked on developing new interior models that account for the compositional pollution of their deep interiors, where we found that planets naturally form with small central cores (<2 Me), surrounded by envelopes with compositional gradients. More recently, we also modeled how the opacities of planetary envelopes change due to the accretion of solids.

When solar-mass stars eventually exit the main-sequence and become white dwarfs, some planetary material makes it onto the star and provides a direct probe of its composition. I have modeled how this material arrives onto these so called 'polluted white dwarfs' and am currently studying how the accretion process can alter our inferences about exoplanet(esimal) compositions. 

Finally, together with Rico Visser I am studying the rotational evolution of objects that form by gravitational collapse in orbit. We have identified a mechanism that leads to a prograde spin-up during this collapse, offering an explanation for the spin-orbit alignment of Solar System binary asteroids.


Collaborators: Amy Bonsor, Uri Malamud, Chris Ormel, Allona Vazan, Rico Visser, James Bryson

Selected papers

First Author:

1. How cores grow by pebble accretion. I. Direct core growth (A&A) M. G. Brouwers, A. Vazan, C. Ormel

2. How planets grow by pebble accretion. II. Analytical calculations on the evolution of polluted envelopes (A&A) M. G. Brouwers, C. Ormel

3. How planets grow by pebble accretion. IV. Envelope opacity trends from sedimenting dust and pebbles (A&A) M. G. Brouwers, C. Ormel, A. Bonsor, A. Vazan

4. A road-map to white dwarf pollution: Tidal disruption, eccentric grind-down, and dust accretion (MNRAS)
M. G. Brouwers, A. Bonsor, U. Malamud


5. How planets grow by pebble accretion. III. Emergence of an interior composition gradient (MNRAS)
C. Ormel, A. Vazan, M. G. Brouwers

6. Circularization of tidal debris around white dwarfs: implications for gas production and dust variability (MNRAS)
U. Malamud, E. Grishin, M. G. Brouwers


PhD: Astronomy, University of Cambridge, (2019-Present)

Msc: Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Amsterdam, (2017-2019)

Bsc: Economics, University of Amsterdam, (2013-2017)

Bsc: Physics & Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, (2013-2016)

Page last updated: 2 December 2021 at 17:51