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Photo of Prof Matthew Browning

Prof Matthew Browning

Associate Professor


Telephone: 01392 726605

Extension: (Streatham) 6605


My primary research interests are in plasma astrophysics, computational fluid dynamics generally, and stellar astronomy. I am particularly interested in convection and magnetism in stars: most stars harbor magnetic fields somewhere in their interiors, and those fields likely play a role in nearly every phase of stellar evolution.  Most of my research involves using three-dimensional simulations of magnetized fluids, but recently I've also delved a bit into observational studies of stellar rotation and activity.  Before coming to Exeter (as Lecturer) in 2011, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), in Toronto, and an NSF postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley (and concurrently at U. Chicago) before that.  I did my doctoral work with Juri Toomre in Boulder (at JILA, within the University of Colorado), my undergrad at Rice (Houston, Texas), and grew up in West Virginia (which is even hillier than Exeter, and quite a bit farther from the ocean).

Research group

Over the past few years my work has been supported primarily by a (5-year, 1.5 MEuro) Starting Grant from the European Research Council, which I was awarded in 2013.  I currently supervise three postdoctoral researchers here --  Dr. Laura Currie, Dr. Lucia Duarte, and Felix Sainsbury-Martinez; I also continue to collaborate with one of my former postdocs (Dr. Maria Weber), who has recently (late 2017) moved to the University of Chicago to take up an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics postdoctoral fellowship.  I've been primary supervisor at Exeter for two PhD students (Felix Sainsbury-Martinez and Lewis Ireland), and secondary supervisor for several others.  

Some selected papers (recent and/or significant)

Ireland & Browning 2018, "The radius and entropy of a magnetized, rotating fully-convective star: analysis with depth-dependent mixing length theories," in press at the Astrophysical Journal

Brun & Browning 2017, "Magnetism, dynamo action, and the solar-stellar connection," in Living Reviews in Solar Physics

Currie & Browning 2017, "The magnitude of viscous dissipation in strongly stratified two-dimensional convection," in Astrophysical Journal Letters, 845, L17

Browning et al. 2016, "Theoretical limits on magnetic field strengths in low-mass stars," in the Astrophysical Journal, with Maria Weber, Gilles Chabrier, and Angela Massey

Weber & Browning 2016, "Modeling the rise of fibril magnetic fields in fully convective stars," in the Astrophysical Journal, with Maria Weber

Duarte et al. 2016, "Helicity inversion in spherical convection as a means for equatorward dynamo wave propagation," with Lucia Duarte, Johannes Wicht, and Thomas Gastine, in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Brown et al. 2011, "Magnetic Cycles in a Convective Dynamo Simulation of a Young Solar-type Star," with Ben Brown, Mark Miesch, A.S. Brun, and Juri Toomre

Browning, 2008, "Simulations of dynamo action in fully convective stars," in the Astrophysical Journal

Browning et al. 2006, "Dynamo Action in the Solar Convection Zone and Tachocline: Pumping and Organization of Toroidal Fields," in the Astrophysical Journal, with Mark Miesch, Allan Sacha Brun, and Juri Toomre

Browning, Brun, Toomre 2004, "Simulations of Core Convection in Rotating A-Type Stars: Differential Rotation and Overshooting," in the Astrophysical Journal