Dorn-Wallenstein, Trevor


PhD Candidate





Studied at

MS University of Washington (2016), BA Wesleyan University (2015)

Joined UW in


Trevor is a sixth year graduate student. He grew up in Los Angeles, before moving to Middletown, CT to start his undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy at Wesleyan University. While at Wesleyan, Trevor fell in love with all things stellar. He graduated with from Wesleyan in 2015 with high honors in Astronomy, before moving to Seattle to begin his graduate studies at UW. His research there focuses on leveraging new techniques to study massive stars.


Trevor uses model populations from the Binary Population and Stellar Synthesis (BPASS) code to predict how the detailed makeup of stellar populations changes as more binary stars are included. In the coming decades, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Nancy Roman Space Telescope will launch, giving us access to photometry of incredibly distant massive stars from the optical through the mid-infrared. Trevor’s current interests include using machine learning methods and data that mimics what will be observed by Webb and Roman in order to produce the observables predicted by his population synthesis work. Finally, Trevor uses data from the TESS mission to study the short-timescale variability of massive stars. Recently, he and his team discovered a new class of pulsating yellow supergiant. These stars may be post-red supergiant objects, which could display a spectrum of oscillation frequencies due to their high L/M ratios. They also found that Stochastic Low Frequency Variability, previously found in hot stars, is ubiquitous across the upper HR diagram. This variability may useful in probing the interiors of evolved massive stars for the first time.


When not wrestling with data, Trevor is helps organize of Astronomy on Tap SEA, plays drums and percussion in Night Lunch (Seattle’s premier and only all-astronomer band), bakes various pastries, and ignores his responsibilities while taking pictures of his dachshund, Poderosa.