About Me

I'm Ed, a PostDoc researcher detecting and characterising exoplanets at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory! I focus on discovering new transiting exoplanets using NGTS and TESS. I use these discoveries to study the overall planetary populations and better understand planet formation and evolution.

If you're interested in finding out more info, why not check out one of my papers here! Or take a look at my CV.

PhD in Physics: "Studying transiting exoplanets with NGTS and TESS"; University of Warwick. October 2018 - June 2022. Supervisor: Dr. Daniel Bayliss
MPhys; Physics; Durham University; October 2014 - June 2018

Outside of astronomy, I can normally be found either playing rugby (I'm the one in the hat) or watching some form of sport - rugby, NFL, cricket ... . I occasionally play the sax and also enjoy cooking.


Understanding planets through their host stars
The aim of my research is to study the influence of the host star on the formation and evolution of exoplanets. This is done by using all-sky photometry from the TESS mission to measure the occurrence rates for exoplanets across the stellar spectrum, from giant planets with the lowest mass host stars ever up to planetary systems whose central star is evolving away from the main sequence. By uncovering the demographics of these populations we will better understand the birth, life, and even death of exoplanets.
I am also interested in finding and characterising new and exotic systems, like the WASP-47 system, to see what we can learn from them about potentially new formation pathways.

NGTS Multi-Telescope Transit Observations
I am also involved in the NGTS mission, particularly through the use of multi-telescope observations of exoplanet transit events. I use these observations to aid the confirmation of new planets, monitor TTVs in multi-planet systems, and observe transits of the longest period planets ever observed from the ground.
We are always on the look out for new collaborations and exciting systems to observe. If you think we can help you out with any study please do get in touch!
As well as follow-up, NGTS remains a transit survey, and I work towards the discovery of new exoplanets, including leading the discovery for the sub-Saturn mass exoplanet NGTS-12b.


Lead author papers: I have led five peer-reviewed journal papers:
The occurrence rate of giant planets orbiting low-mass stars with TESS; Bryant E. M., Bayliss D., & Van Eylen, V. (2023), MNRAS, 521, 3662-3681
I performed a systematic transit search for giant exoplanets orbiting low-mass stars in order to measure the occurrence rates of these systems. I demonstrated that while the giant planets are rarer for lower mass host stars, they do still exist for host stars as low mass as 20% the mass of the Sun! This work presents some contradictions with currently accepted planet formation theories, showing that more work needs to be done to fully understand how giant planets form!

Revisiting WASP-47 with ESPRESSO and TESS; Bryant E. M. & Bayliss D. (2022), AJ, 163, 197
I used high-precision radial velocities from ESPRESSO and new photometry from TESS to refine the parameters of the planets in the remarkable WASP-47 system. In particular, I refined the mass of the ultra-short period super-Earth WASP-47e, showing it to potentially have a different composition to most other well characterised super-Earths.

A transit timing variation observed for the long-period extremely low-density exoplanet HIP 41378 f; Bryant E. M. et al. (2021), MNRAS, 504, L45-L50
Using multi-telescope NGTS observations I obeserved a transit of the 542day (!) period planet HIP-41378f. The NGTS observations, along with other ground-based photometry, revealed the presence of large transit timing variations for this planet.

NGTS-12b: A sub-Saturn mass transiting exoplanet in a 7.53 day orbit; Bryant E. M. et al. (2020), MNRAS, 499, 3139-3148
Using NGTS survey photometry, along with further photmetry from TESS and radial velocity observations from HARPS and FEROS, I presented the 7.53d period, sub-Saturn mass exoplanet NGTS-12b. The host star NGTS-12 is slightly evolved and nearing the end of its life, so this planet likely doesn't have long left! The increase in luminosity as the star evolves also makes this low-density planet an interesting target for atmospheric characterisation studies and investigations into planetary inflation mechanisms.

Simultaneous TESS and NGTS transit observations of WASP-166 b; Bryant E. M. et al. (2020), MNRAS, 494, 5872-5881
I presented the NGTS multi-telescope observing method, where multiple of the twelve NGTS telescopes are used simultaneously to observe the same star. I demonstrated that this technique provides ultra high precision photometry, rivaling the data quality of the space telescope TESS!

Contributed papers:
Using NGTS multi-telescope observations I have contributed to a large number of varied exoplanet discovery and characterisation studies. Through my involvement in a number of exoplanet discovery consorita, particularly the NGTS mission and various TESS follow-up programs with HARPS, I have also contributed to numerous exoplanet discoveries.
An extensive list of my lead and co-author publications can be found here!


Some of my research has been featured in the media and the press!! Check below for links to various articles about my work:

Small stars may host bigger planets than previously thought:
My research into the occurrence rate of giant planets - those similar in size to Jupiter or Saturn - was featured widely in the press by various outlets, including:
Sky & Telescope
Universe Today
and many others, with the main UCL press release able to be found here!

Rhythmic six-exoplanet system challenges theories of how planets form:
Using the NGTS telescopes at Paranal Observatory in Chile, I obtained exoplanet transit observations which played a key role in unveiling the true nature of the remarkable six-planet TOI-178 system. Five of the six planets are locked in a rhythmic "resonance" with each other. The discovery of this incredible system, and my role in it, was the subject of a Warwick press release.


Email: edward.bryant@ucl.ac.uk

Address: Mullard Space Science Laborartory, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NT, UK