Warrick Ball PhD

Warrick Ball

School of Physics and Astronomy
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Warrick Ball is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Solar and Stellar Physics group, specialising in the asteroseismology of solar-like oscillators. His wider interests and experience cover all aspects of stellar modelling. His current focus is how best to calculate stellar models to match asteroseismic observations of solar-like oscillators in preparation for ESA’s PLATO space observatory. He is currently on the development team for the widely-used Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA).


  • PhD in Astronomy, University of Cambridge, 2012
  • MSc in Astrophysics, University College London, 2008
  • BSc (Hons) in Theoretical Physics, University of Cape Town, 2006


Warrick Ball completed a BSc (Hons) in Theoretical Physics at the University of Cape Town in 2006. He went on to an MSc in Astrophysics at University College London, which he completed in 2008. He then moved to the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge for his PhD, which he finished in 2012. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Göttingen until the end of 2016, after which he came to the University of Birmingham.


  • Y3 Group Studies (Asteroseismology)
  • Y3 The Life and Death of Stars
  • Y3 & Y4 Critiques


Warrick’s current research focus is implementing methods to match models to data that will be produced by ESA’s PLATO space observatory. He has already worked extensively on the problem of fitting stellar models to asteroseismic data and is known in particular for his work on mitigating the known biases caused by improper modelling near the stellar surface.

Before he was involved in asteroseismology, Warrick worked on modelling exotic objects known as “quasi-stars”: black holes embedded in and accreting from giant-like envelopes of gas. Along the way, he undertook some highly theoretical work on why stars evolve into red giants.


  • Ball, W. H., Beeck, B., Cameron, R. H., Gizon L., (2016), MESA meets MURaM. Surface effects in main-sequence solar-like oscillators computed using three-dimensional radiation hydrodynamics simulations, Astronomy & Astrophysics 592:A159,
  • Ball, W. H. , Gizon, L., (2014), A new correction of stellar oscillation frequencies for near-surface effects. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 568:A123
  • Ball, W. H., Tout, C. A., Żytkow, A. N., (2012), Quasi-stars, giants and the Schönberg-Chandrasekhar limit. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 421:2713