About Me

Wesley Fraser is Queen's Research Fellow and lecturer in the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen's University, Belfast. His scientific interests lie in understanding how the small bodies of the Solar system formed. His primary research includes studying the physical properties of the Kuiper belt and other icy bodies at the edge of the Solar system with the view that these bodies are relics of a failed planet formation process, and hold the keys to unlocking there origins.

Wes is the principle investigator of Col-OSSOS: Colours of the Outer Solar System Origins Survey a large observing program that uses the Gemini-North and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescopes together to gather UV-optical-NIR colours of Kuiper Belt Objects.

With his 3 PhD students and post-doc, Wes is also actively trying to understand the early stages of planet formation through n-body simulations, and determine the main compositional building blocks of Kuiper Belt Objects.

His research thus far has primarily fallen into three categories: size distributions, compositions, and physical properties of individual bodies. The first, his Ph. D. topic, and what he is primarily known for in the scientific community has led him to surveying vast swaths of the night sky to discover the smallest, faintest objects possible with the best of telescope facilities available. His later interests brought him to be working with Dr. Michael Brown at Caltech where became involved in spectroscopic studies to understand the compositions and surface variability of small Kuiper belt objects. Also while working with Mike, he got involved in studying the properties of the satellites in orbit about a few large Kuiper belt objects. Most notably, his work with the Quaoar-Weywot system revealed Quaoar to be unusually massive and identified it as the most dense known object in the outer Solar system.

Among his other science related interests, Wes has developed a specialty in science-related computation on Graphics Processor Units. Through the use of NVIDIA's CUDA API, Wes has developed software to perform collisional evolution and N-Body calculations, along with various image processing related functions.

Wes got his B. Sc. with honours in Theoretical Physics from McMaster University in 2004. He then went on to get a Ph. D. in astrophysics from the University of Victoria in 2008 under the tutelage of Dr. J.J. Kavelaars. He worked as a post doctoral scholar with Michael Brown at Caltech for 3 years before becoming a Plaskett Fellow at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics were he continues his scientific endeavours.

To contact Wes, please email wes.fraser@@@[at]@@@qub.ac.uk . Obviously, please replace the "@@@[at]@@@" appropriately.

Wesley Fraser's CV

Sam and Wes move to Belfast!

Yep. Relocated in August 2015 to cloudy Belfast. I have taken up a position as Queen's Research Fellow and lecturer in the Queen's University, Belfast. It's been a good move, with the only real culture shock being with the lack of vegetables in typical Irish cuisine!

Wes and Sam just bought a house!

This happened back in 2014. That's right. In beautiful Victoria, BC. And we are renovating the whole thing.

Here's the original house before the renos.

Just for fun, we made some timelapse videos of destroying the bathroom and kitchen. Got a good chunk of the demo. Bathroom destruction can be watched in bathroom videos #1 and #2 and Sam can be seen wrecking a kitchen in videos #1 and #2.

Here's some photos of the rebuild. Still in progress!