Gregg A. Wade

Dr Gregg Wade
Gregg A. Wade
BSc, MSc, PhD, Professor
Sawyer Building, Room 4416
(613) 541-6000 ext 6419
(613) 541-6040
Department of Physics and Space Science

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4

Highlighted Research

A massive helium star with a sufficiently strong magnetic field to form a magnetar”, Tomer Shenar, Gregg Wade, Pablo Marchant, et al. (2023) Science 381, 761-765

Magnetars are neutron stars with extremely strong magnetic fields, the origin of which is debated. One possibility is amplification of a magnetic field in the core of the parent star, which produces the neutron star during a supernova explosion. However, such fields have not been observed in stars that are about to explode. In this investigation, recently publised in Science, we use high resolution spectropolarimetry to identify a huge magnetic field in the quasi-Wolf-Rayet (qWR) component of the binary system HD 45166. The mass of the qWR star is high enough that it will likely produce a neutron star in a supernova, and the field is sufficiently strong to generate a magnetar during core collapse. We model the physical properties of the system and infer that the qWR component formed via the merger of two intermediate-mass stars and speculate that its strong magnetic field may have been produced as a consequence of that merger.

Press Coverage:

CNN: Scientists unlock mysteries of magnetars, the most magnetic objects in the universe

Artist's impression of HD 45166, a massive magnetic star

This artist impression shows HD 45166, a massive star recently discovered to have a powerful magnetic field of 43,000 gauss, the strongest magnetic field ever found in a massive star. Intense winds of particles blowing away from the star are trapped by this magnetic field, enshrouding the star in a gaseous shell.  (Image credit: L. Calçada / European Southern Observatory)


Dr. Wade investigates the structure, evolution, origin and impact of magnetic fields in stars. His research concentrates on intermediate and high mass stars, which are the evolutionary progenitors of most white dwarfs, neutron stars and stellar-mass black holes. His current research aims at understanding the origin of and evolution of magnetic fields in stars; the role of magnetic fields in generating spectroscopic activity and in mediating accretion in late stellar formative stages; the interaction of magnetic fields and stellar winds; the factors influencing stellar rotational angular momentum; and the ultimate impact of internal and external magnetic fields on stellar evolution.

Dr. Wade is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) collaboration, co-PI of the Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in Stars (BinaMIcS) project, and past-Chair of the international BRITE Executive Science Team (BEST) for the BRITE-Constellation mission.

In the context of RMC’s Space Surveillance Research Laboratory (SSRL), Dr. Wade has also directed research related to the characterization of the structure, surface composition, and rotation of artificial satellites.

Dr. Wade was awarded RMC’s Cowan Prize for Excellence in Research in 2019.

Recent Publications

  • “Discovery of magnetospheric interactions in the doubly magnetic hot binary ϵ Lupi”, Biswas, Ayan, Das, Barnali, Chandra, Poonam, Wade, Gregg A., Shultz, Matthew E., Cavallaro, Francesco, Petit, Veronique, Woudt, Patrick A., and Alecian, Evelyne (2023) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 523, 5155-5170

    “Discovery of extraordinary X-ray emission from magnetospheric interaction in the unique binary stellar system ϵ Lupi”, Das, B., Petit, V., Nazé, Y., Corcoran, M. F., Cohen, D. H., Biswas, A., Chandra, P., David-Uraz, A., Leutenegger, M. A., Neiner, C., Pablo, H., Paunzen, E., Shultz, M. E., ud-Doula, A., and Wade, G. A. (2023) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 522, 5805-5827

    “Spectrum of the secondary component and new orbital elements of the massive triple star δ Ori A”, Oplištilová, A., Mayer, P., Harmanec, P., Brož, M., Pigulski, A., Božić, H., Zasche, P., Šlechta, M., Pablo, H., Kołaczek-Szymański, P. A., Moffat, A. F. J., Lovekin, C. C., Wade, G. A., Zwintz, K., Popowicz, A., and Weiss, W. W. (2023) Astronomy and Astrophysics 672, A31

    “Testing a scaling relation between coherent radio emission and physical parameters of hot magnetic stars”, Das, Barnali, Chandra, Poonam, Shultz, Matt E., Leto, Paolo, Mikulášek, Zdeněk, Petit, Véronique, and Wade, Gregg A. (2022) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 517, 5756-5769

    “Ultraviolet spectropolarimetry: investigating stellar magnetic field diagnostics”, Folsom, C. P., Ignace, R., Erba, C., Casini, R., del Pino Alemán, T., Gayley, K., Hobbs, K., Manso Sainz, R., Neiner, C., Petit, V., Shultz, M. E., and Wade, G. A. (2022) Astrophysics and Space Science 367, 125

    “Finding magnetic north: an extraordinary magnetic field detection in Polaris and first results of a magnetic survey of classical Cepheids”, Barron, J. A., Wade, G. A., Evans, N. R., Folsom, C. P., and Neilson, H. R. (2022) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 512, 4021-4030

    “The magnetic field and magnetosphere of Plaskett's star: a fundamental shift in our understanding of the system”, Grunhut, J. H., Wade, G. A., Folsom, C. P., Neiner, C., Kochukhov, O., Alecian, E., Shultz, M., Petit, V., MiMeS Collaboration, and BinaMIcS Collaboration (2022) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 512, 1944-1966

    “Untangling magnetic massive star properties with linear polarization variability and the analytic dynamical magnetosphere model”, Munoz, M. S., Wade, G. A., Faes, D. M., Carciofi, A. C., and Labadie-Bartz, J. (2022) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 511, 3228-3249

    “5 years of BRITE-Constellation photometry of the luminous blue variable P Cygni: properties of the stochastic low-frequency variability”, Elliott, Ashley, Richardson, Noel D., Pablo, Herbert, Moffat, Anthony F. J., Bowman, Dominic M., Ibrahim, Nour, Handler, Gerald, Lovekin, Catherine, Popowicz, Adam, St-Louis, Nicole, Wade, Gregg A., and Zwintz, Konstanze (2022) Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 509, 4246-4255

A complete list of publications is available at: The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System .

In the News



Graduate students

Current  students

  • James Barron (PhD, Queen's)
  • Ayan Biswas (PhD, Queen’s)

Past students

  • Angelo Hollett (MSc, Queen’s)
  • Erik Stacey (MSc, RMC)
  • James Barron (MSc, Queen's)
  • Melissa Munoz (PhD, Queen’s) - withdrew
  • Giuseppe Ramacieri (MSc, RMC) - Canadian Forces
  • James Sikora (PhD, Queen's) - Postdoctoral Fellow, Sherbrooke university
  • Zsolt Keszthelyi (PhD, Queen's) - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Amsterdam
  • Michael Earl (PhD, RMC) - Assistant Professor, RMC
  • Jason Shaw (MSc, RMC) (with Dr. Donald Bédard) - Canadian Forces
  • Matthew Shultz (PhD, Queen's) - Annie Jump Cannon Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Delaware
  • Carl Clancy (MSc, RMC) (with Dr. Donald Bédard) - Flt Lt, Australian Air Force
  • Alexandre David-Uraz (PhD, Queen's) - NSERC Postdoctoral fellow, University of Delaware
  • Alex Willison (MSc) (with Dr. Donald Bédard)
  • James Silvester (PhD)
  • Andrew Jolley (MSc) - Australian Air Force
  • Donald Bédard (PhD) - Canadian Forces
  • Michael Earl (MSc)
  • Jason Grunhut (PhD) - Data Scientist, Telus Canada
  • Matthew Shultz (MSc)
  • M. Oksala (PhD) (with Prof. Stanley Owocki) - Assistant Professor, California Lutheran University
  • Véronique Petit (PhD) (with Prof. Laurent Drissen) - Assistant Professor, University of Delaware
  • Katherine Likuski (MSc) - Canadian Forces
  • Jason Grunhut (MSc)
  • Mouhamadou Thiam (MSc) (with Prof. Francis LeBlanc) - PhD Candidate, Moncton University
  • Jennifer Power (MSc) - Observing assistant, LBTO, USA
  • Colin Folsom (MSc) - Postdoc, Toulouse, France
  • James Silvester (MSc)
  • Dominic Drouin (MSc) - Canadian Forces
  • Noémie Johnson (MSc) - MD graduate, Canadian Forces physician




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