Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre

CPARC Faculty

Prof. Tony Noble

Scientific Director | CPARC

Professor (Canada Research Chair) | Physics | Queen's University

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Tony Noble
Dr. Anthony Noble obtained a B.Sc. in Physics & Math from the University of New Brunswick, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. (1990) in particle physics from the University of British Columbia. He then worked at CERN as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zürich before accepting research scientist positions at the Centre for Research in Particle Physics in Ottawa and TRIUMF. Now at Queen’s University since 2002, he has been working with the astroparticle physics group there to develop a world class research team focused on the activities at SNOLAB. With the completion of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment, his interests have been focused on dark matter experiments at SNOLAB where he is participating in the DEAP-3600 liquid argon experiment, and the PICO experiment using superheated fluids. These experiments aim to detect the mysterious dark matter that appears to dominate the matter budget of the Universe, but which has never been directly observed on Earth. He has also performed numerous accelerator based experiments at TRIUMF, Brookhaven and CERN and he spent a sabbatical year working on the ANTARES high energy neutrino telescope located on the Mediterranean seabed. Dr. Noble is currently the inaugural Scientific Director of CPARC.

Prof. Levente Balogh

Assistant Professor | Engineering | Queen's University

Levente Balogh
Dr. Balogh is currently a Research Scientist at the Material Sciences Branch at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) in Chalk River, ON, and will join CPARC and the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Queen’s University in January 2018. He received a Ph.D. in Physics (Materials and Solid State Physics) from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary, and continued as a postdoctoral fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico and at Queen’s University. Dr. Balogh’s research is focused on exploring the behaviour of nuclear structural materials relevant to currently operating and next-generation reactor designs when subjected to irradiation under various circumstances, such as in-situ mechanical loading and high temperature. He is interested in developing instrumentation for proton irradiation to introduce damage in structural materials, and to produce neutrons for experiments related to particle astrophysics. He is also interested in applying and advancing X-ray/synchrotron and neutron diffraction based techniques to characterize the structure and microstructure of materials, with focus on radiation-induced damage in nuclear structural materials.

Prof. Joseph Bramante

Assistant Professor | Physics | Queen's University

Joe Bramante
Joseph Bramante is a high energy theoretical particle physicist who investigates dark matter, stellar and galactic signatures of new physics, cosmology, and the vacuum structure of our universe. Prior to his faculty appointment at CPARC, Queen's University, and Perimeter Institute, he held postdoctoral fellowships at the Perimeter Institute and the University of Notre Dame. He earned his doctorate at the University of Hawaii in 2013 for his thesis on "Dark Particles and Primordial Perturbations." As an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College, he completed and published research on the structure of model atmospheric aerosol particles, using x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy.

Prof. Ken Clark

Assistant Professor | Physics | Queen's University

Faculty Website

Ken Clark
The unifying goal of Dr. Ken Clark’s research is to understand the Universe at the most fundamental level, an objective which is perhaps overly ambitious but certainly challenging. He is currently a collaborator on the PICO experiment which is located at SNOLAB and searching for dark matter. PICO currently leads the world in sensitivity to dark matter colliding with the proton in a spin-dependent interaction. He also works with the IceCube collaboration studying low-energy neutrinos at the South Pole and is particularly invested in the proposed PINGU sub-detector which will increase our sensitivity to potential dark matter interactions.

Prof. Guillaume Giroux

Assistant Professor | Physics | Queen's University

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Guillaume Giroux
Guillaume Giroux was recently appointed to Queen’s University and CPARC as assistant professor in experimental particle astrophysics. His research interests encompass the search for dark matter, the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay, and low-background techniques. Prior to his new appointment, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University working with Dr. Tony Noble on the PICO dark matter search experiments at SNOLAB where he acted as the data analysis coordinator for the PICO Collaboration. He earned his doctoral degree in 2012 from Bern University, Switzerland, working with Dr. Jean-Luc Vuilleumier. His dissertation research focused on the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay of Xenon-136 within the EXO collaboration. After graduating, he continued working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Vuilleumier on the development of a novel light detection scheme for use in medium-pressure gas time projection chambers (TPCs). He also holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. from Université de Montréal where he worked with Dr. Viktor Zacek on the detector fabrication, installation, and data analysis of the PICASSO experiment.

Prof. Matthew Leybourne

Assistant Professor | Geology | Queen's University

Matthew Leybourne
Coming soon!

Prof. Caio Licciardi

Assistant Professor | Physics | Laurentian University

Caio Licciardi
With research focusing on the fundamental questions of the Universe, Caio Licciardi joined CPARC as a faculty member at Laurentian University. His particular attention has been devoted to the neutrino sector. He holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, with a theoretical-oriented thesis on aspects of neutrino oscillations. He is also an Ingénieur de l’École Polytechnique, France, with a master's degree. During his Ph.D. at the University of Regina, he contributed to the T2K experiment within the near detector group, including testing (at TRIUMF) and commissioning (at J-PARC, Japan) of the fine-grained detectors. As a Research Associate at Carleton University, he took part in the quest for Majorana neutrino masses with the Enriched Xenon Observatory. He is the analysis coordinator of the EXO-200 detector, and has helped to understand the sensitivity reach to neutrinoless double beta decay by the next-generation experiment nEXO.

Prof. Marie-Cécile Piro

Assistant Professor | Physics | University of Alberta

Faculty Website

MC Piro
Marie-Cécile Piro's research is in particle astrophysics, using techniques from particle physics to answer fundamental questions about our Universe. She played a major role in several projects for dark matter searches in Canada at SNOLAB, in France at LSM and in Italy at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory. She has broad expertise in multiple detection techniques such as superheated liquids, ultra-pure germanium detectors at mK temperature and she worked with the world’s largest double phase xenon TPC. Now she leads a physics program at the University of Alberta for the PICO and the DEAP experiments, which are installed at SNOLAB. Her principal interest concerns the development of technologies based on innovative ideas with multiple applications in order to extract new physics processes.

Prof. Alan Robinson

Assistant Professor | Physics | Université de Montréal

Faculty Website

Alan Robinson
Dr. Alan Robinson studies the interactions of particle radiation in low-background and low-threshold detectors used to search for dark matter. Alan obtained his B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in 2009, his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 2015 with the PICO dark matter experiment, and worked and Fermilab as a postdoctoral research associate with the Super Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) collaboration. He has recently joined the particle physics group at the University of Montreal as an assistant professor. Using particles generated by the University of Montreal's tandem accelerator and by radioisotopes, Alan is studying processes that produce low-energy recoils in particle detectors. These processes mimic dark matter interactions and may be used to calibrate dark matter searches and to avoid spurious detections. In addition to these specific studies, the University of Montreal group is supporting the construction, installation, and operation of upcoming PICO and SuperCDMS detectors at SNOLAB.

Prof. Simon Viel

Assistant Professor | Physics | Carleton University

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Simon Viel
Simon Viel joined the faculty at Carleton University in August 2017, as an Assistant Professor within the newly formed Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC). Prior to joining the Department of Physics at Carleton, he obtained a B.Sc. in Physics at Université Laval, before becoming a member of the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. As a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar at the University of British Columbia and TRIUMF, he participated in searches for new particles decaying to muons and electrons, such as new gauge bosons (force-carrying particles) and the Higgs boson with ATLAS. As a Chamberlain Fellow and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he then researched future upgrades to the inner tracking detector of ATLAS, in preparation for operation at the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider, and developed algorithms to identify boosted Higgs bosons decaying to b-quark pairs with applications to searches for dark matter. He is now very excited to return to Canada to work on large-scale low-background experiments including DEAP-3600, as well as silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) research and development toward future detectors.

Prof. Aaron Vincent

Assistant Professor | Physics | Queen's University

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Aaron Vincent
Aaron Vincent obtained his Ph.D. in high energy theoretical physics from McGill University in 2012. He was a postdoctoral associate in the Invisibles Marie Curie network at the Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC, Valencia), before moving to the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology in Durham (UK). In 2016 he became a Junior Research Fellow at Imperial College London’s Imperial Centre for Inference in Cosmology, before moving to Queen’s University in January 2018. His research topics cover many areas in astroparticle physics and cosmology. These include high-energy astrophysical neutrinos, cosmic rays, gamma rays and physics of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). A central theme in his research is the search for the particle nature of dark matter (DM), and the many non-gravitational effects DM models can produce in astrophysics and cosmology, as well as in the lab here on Earth.