David Lafrenière



Département de physique
Université de Montréal
C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville
Montréal, QC
Canada   H3C 3J7

Phone : 514-343-6128
Fax : 514-343-2071
Email : david.lafreniere (AT) astro (DOT) umontreal (DOT) ca
Office : D-434

CRAQ web page

    The main interests of Professor David Lafrenière’s research group relate to the study of exoplanets. This active field of astronomy aims at establishing the prevalence and diversity of planetary systems in our galaxy, at understanding how these systems form and evolve, at comprehending the physics involved in their atmosphere and interior, and ultimately, at detecting traces of life elsewhere in the universe. The group’s work is primarily performed using infrared imaging techniques that allow detecting the planets directly, and then measuring their physical properties. To successfully "see" these very faint planets located right next to their host star, which can be several million times brighter, it is necessary to continually develop new observation and image processing techniques and even to build new instruments. With the current technology, it is possible to detect gas giant planets with orbits of the outer solar system’s size or larger. In addition to direct imaging of planets, Professor Lafrenière’s research group is also interested in the characterization of "hot Jupiter" planets by using transit/eclipse spectrophotometry and transit timing. The group is also involved in studies of brown dwarfs, in stellar and substellar multiplicity studies, and in the search and characterization of new young low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the solar neighborhood.

Graduate Students
Looking for young very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in nearby moving groups. (2010 - NOW)
Study of substellar companions in the Upper Scorpius formation region. (2010-NOW)

PHY3030 Supervision
  • Sylvain Bossé
Preparatory study for the realisation of an exo-satellites survey through transit timing (2011)
  • Frédérique Baron
I-band photometry for young low-mass stars. (2011)
  • Charles Lafrenière-Bérubé
Conception of an observation simulator for transit exoplanet spectroscopy with NIRISS on JWST. (2011)
Selection of young stars for exoplanet researchs with JWST. (2010)
Re-analyzing HST data with the LOCI algorithm. (2009)


#22 - Malo, L.Doyon, R.Lafrenière, D.Artigau, É.Gagné, J.Baron, F., Riedel, A. 2012, Bayesian analysis to identify new star candidates in nearby young stellar kinematic groups, Accepted for publication in ApJ. arxiv:1209.2077.

#21 - Artigau, É., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Liu, M., Dupuy, Trent J. Albert, L., Gagné, J., Malo, L. & Gratadour, D. 2011, Discovery of Two L and T Binaries with Wide Separations and Peculiar Photometric Properties, ApJ, 739, 48-61

#20 - Artigau, É., Radigan, J., Folkes, S., Jayawardhana, R.,  Kurtev, R., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R. & Borissova, J.  2010, DENIS J081730.0-615520: An overlooked late-T dwarf in the solar neighborhood, ApJL., 718, L38.

#19 - Jolin, M.-A., Bastien, P., Denni, F., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Voyer, P. 2010, Toward Understanding the Environment of R Monocerotis from High-Resolution Near-Infrared Polarimetric Observations, ApJ, 721, 1748.

#18 - Artigau, É., Bouchard, S., Doyon, R., Lafrenière, D., 2009, Photometric variability of the T2.5 brown dwarf SIMP013656.67+093347.3; evidence for evolving weather patterns, ApJ, 701, 1534.

#17 - Artigau, É., Lafrenière, D., Albert, L. & Doyon, R. 2009, On the Age of the Widest Very Low Mass Binary, ApJ, 692, 149-153.

#16 - Lafrenière, D., Marois, C., Doyon, R. & Barman, T. 2009, HST/NICMOS Detection of HR 8799 b in 1998, ApJL, 694,  L148-L152.

#15 - Lavigne, J.-F., Doyon, R., Lafrenière, D., Marois, C., Barman, T. 2009, Near infrared observations of GQ Lup B using the integral field spectrograph NIFS, Astrophysical Journal, 704, 1098.

#14 - Radigan, J., Lafrenière, D., Jayawardhana, R., Doyon, R. 2009, Discovery of the Widest Very Low Mass Field Binary, ApJ, 698, 405.

#13 - Marois, C., Macintosh, B., Barman, T., Zuckerman, B., Song, I., Patience, J., Lafrenière, D. & Doyon, R., 2008, Direct Imaging of a Multi-Planet System Orbiting the Star HR8799, Science, 322, 1348.

#12 - Marois, C., Lafrenière, D., Macintosh, Bruce, Doyon, R. 2008, Confidence Level and Sensitivity Limits in High-Contrast Imaging, ApJ, 673, 647-656.

#11 - Radigan, J., Lafrenière, D., Jayawardhana, R., & Doyon, R. 2008, Discovery of a Wide Substellar Companion to a Nearby low-mass star,

#10 - Scholz, A., Jayawardhana, R., Wood, K., Lafrenière, D., Schreyer, K. & Doyon, R. 2008, IRAS 04325+2402C: A Very Low Mass Object with an Edge-On Disk, ApJ., 681, L29-L32.

#9 - Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Nadeau, D., Artigau, É., Marois, C., Beaulieu, M. 2007, Improving the speckle noise attenuation of simultaneous spectral differential imaging with a focal plane holographic diffuser, ApJ, 661, 1208-1217.

#8 - Lafrenière, D., Marois, C., Doyon, R., Nadeau, D. & Artigau, É. 2007, A new algorithm for point spread function subtraction in high-contrast imaging: a demonstration with angular differential imaging, ApJ, 660, 770-780.

#7 - Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Marois, C., Nadeau, D., Oppenheimer, B.R., Roche, P.F., Rigaut, F. Graham, J. R., Jayawardhana, R., Johnstone, D., Kalas, P.G, Macintosh, B. & Racine, R. 2007, The Gemini Deep Planet Survey - GDPS, ApJ, 670, 1367-1390.

#6 - Artigau, É., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Albert, L., Nadeau, D., Robert, J. 2007, Discovery of the Widest Very Low Mass Binary, ApJ, 659. L49-L52.

#5 - Artigau, É., Doyon, R., Lafrenière, D., Nadeau, D., Robert, J., Albert, L. 2006, Discovery of the Brightest T Dwarf in the Northern Hemisphere, ApJ, 651, L57-L60.

#4 - Marois, C., Lafrenière, D., Macintosh, Bruce, Doyon, R. 2006, Accurate Astrometry and Photometry of Saturated and Coronagraphic Point Spread Functions, ApJ, 647, 612-619.

#3 - Marois, C., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Macintosh, Bruce, Nadeau, D. 2006, Angular Differential Imaging: A Powerful High-Contrast Imaging Technique, AJ, 641, 556-564.

#2 - Marois, C., Doyon, R., Nadeau, D., Racine, R., Riopel, M., Vallée, P., & Lafrenière, D. 2005, TRIDENT: An Infrared Differential Imaging Camera Optimized for the Detection of Methanated Substellar Companions, PASP, 117, 745-756.

#1 -  Marois, C., Racine, R., Doyon, R., Lafrenière, D. & Nadeau, D. 2004, Differential Imaging with a Multi-Color Detector Assembly: A New ExoPlanet Finder Concept, ApJL, 615, L61-L64.


  • PhD Thesis - Survey for of giant planets around close-by stars by direct imaging and optimization of a multi-band imaging technique. [PDF - French]
  • Predoc - Synthesis of theoric and observational knowledge on extrasolar planetary systems. [PDF - French]