I am Hilding Neilson, an astrophysicist working at the University of Toronto. My research interests focus on the physics of stars from their nuclear-burning centres out to theirs surfaces where the light we see comes from and beyond to their winds and interactions with their environments. By understanding the behaviours of stars, we gain insights into the building blocks of the Universe, but the challenge is that every star appears unique, each with their own stories and secrets to discover. I use computational and theoretical tools to delve into the secrets of stars and try to learn about their place in the Universe and our night sky.
I grew up in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada. I earned my undergraduate degree in astrophysics from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and my doctorate from the University of Toronto in 2009. After my PhD, I spent three years at the Argelander-Institute for Astronomy at the University of Bonn in Germany working in the Stellar Astrophysics group and then two more years at East Tennessee State University. Now I am back in Toronto.