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Mathematics and Statistics

Photo of Dr Claire Foullon

Dr Claire Foullon

Senior Lecturer

 (Streatham) 5653

 01392 725653


Laver Building, Room: L722
Streatham Campus 

Link to STFC PhD Studentship funding application to appear here (deadline: TBC April 2023).

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Undergraduate Class Teaching: Module descriptors in 2022/23:
- MTHM045 - Space Weather and Plasmas  - If you would like to know a bit more before taking this module, watch this Video @2018 Space:Exe Conference
- MTH2004 - Vector Calculus and Applications

Course Director: STFC Introductory Solar System Plasmas Summer School 2018, August 27-31, 2018

Main Organiser: IAU Symposium 335: Space Weather of the Heliosphere: Processes and Forecasts, July 17-21, 2017

My Profile: I am a senior lecturer with over 20 years of research experience in solar and space physics and until early 2017 I have been holding a prestigious and personal research fellowship (STFC Advanced Fellowship 2012-2017). I am a Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) Councillor, Vice-President of Commission E3 Solar Impact throughout the Heliosphere for the International Astronomical Union (IAU), International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) UK coordinator, member of European Space Agency’s Solar System and Exploration Working Group (SSWEG) and the UK Space Agency’s Science Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC). I have acquired my research experience and studied while residing in England, Belgium, Scotland, and prior to that France.

Research: I study our solar-terrestrial environment. I work with remote and in-situ multi-spacecraft data revealing properties measured on the Sun or in space, and I combine observations and data analysis with magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory. My research goal is to understand instabilities, governed by magnetized flows, common to space, solar and astrophysical plasma environments, and to develop the framework for space weather applications.

Research Interests: Solar system, geo-, astro- and space plasma physics, combining theory, observations and data analysis:
- Remote and in-situ multi-spacecraft data analysis of solar-terrestrial plasmas;
- Magnetospheric physics, e.g. Pc5 pulsations, boundary layers and solar wind plasma entry;
- Solar physics, e.g. theory of MHD waves and interpretation of coronal waves and instabilities;
- Space weather and Sun-Earth Connections.

Researh Group: This group is forming (PhD Student & Postdoctoral Fellow) and is looking to expand. I offer a research program in Heliophysics on "Multi-spacecraft investigations of solar and heliospheric plasmas".

Heliophysics is in its golden age, with an unprecedented number of satellites providing observations of unparalleled quality, either (remotely) of the Sun or (in-situ) of the solar wind. The project will be to investigate plasma and dynamical properties using the complementarities of multi-spacecraft observations. The objective is to reveal phenomena and unravel the physics governing key regions of our Sun-Earth system in the chain of space weather events that can affect our radiation environment, our communication systems and our climate. As well as joining the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, the PhD student will directly benefit from links with the Institute for Data Sciences and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI), the Astrophysics cluster and the nearby Met Office space weather activities. This brand new PhD project will equip the student with skills suited to address future science with Solar Orbiter, the ESA mission that was launched in 2020.

Keywords: Sun, Space Weather, Data Sciences

Motivated and strong applicants for either PhD scholarship application or independent postdoctoral research in this field are encouraged to contact me for informal inquiries (see link to funding opportunities here and at the top of the page).

Link to STFC PhD Studentship funding application (deadline: 27th April 2023).

Link to EPSRC PhD Studentship funding application (deadline: midnight (GMT) on 27th February 2023).

Choice of 3 projects starting in 2023-24:

1) "Solar and space data analysis for major risk space weather forecasting", second supervisor Dr. Jan Sieber

EPSRC Research Areas: 
Artificial intelligence technologies
Fluid dynamics and aerodynamics
Mathematical physics
Plasma and lasers
Continuum mechanics

2) "Solar prominence seismology", second supervisor Prof. Andrew Gilbert

EPSRC Research Areas:
Fluid dynamics and aerodynamics
Mathematical physics
Non-linear systems
Plasma and lasers
Continuum mechanics

3) "Space in Your Hands", building the 3D prints to help the visually impaired see 'space', second supervisor TBC

EPSRC Research Areas: 
Graphics and visualisation
Fluid dynamics and aerodynamics
Mathematical physics
Plasma and lasers
Vision, hearing and other senses
Continuum mechanics

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy (ESE)
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics (CGAFD)
North Park Road
University of Exeter
Exeter EX4 4QF,
United Kingdom

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Copyright Notice: Any articles made available for download are for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the copyright holder.

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  • Maunder M. (2023) Multi-Spacecraft Investigations of Solar and Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections in Complex Solar Wind Environments.



















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Further information

Research Interests

Claire Foullon

  • Solar Physics.Theory of MHD waves and interpretation of oscillations and quasi-periodic pulsations observed in the solar atmosphere:
  • Heliospheric and Space Plasma Physics. In-situ Multi-spacecraft Data Analysis:
    • Coronal and Solar Wind Transients [12, 15, 21, 22, 25, 37, 41]
    • Terrestrial Magnetosphere, e.g. Pc5 pulsations, boundary layers and solar wind plasma entry to the magnetosphere: Magnetopause (Kelvin-Helmholtz waves) [14, 18, 23, 26, 32, 44], cusp [13], inner magnetosphere [19, 35].
  • Space Weather Science.
    • Solar Image Processing [8],
    • Interplanetary - Mars [E, 4, 6].
  • Other. Astrophysics [1], Geophysics [C], Between solid state and plasma physics [A, B].

with references below (see publications for links to manuscripts in the repository).

Refereed Journal Articles

  • [48] Nykyri, K. and Foullon, C., 2013, First Magnetic Seismology of the CME Reconnection Outflow Layer in the Low Corona with 2.5 D MHD Simulations of the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability, Geophysical Research Letters [DOI: 10.1002/grl.50807].
  • [47] White, R., Verwichte, E. and Foullon, C., 2013, Anti-phase Signature of Flare Generated Transverse Loop Oscillations Astrophys. J. 774, 104, [DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/774/2/104].
  • [46] Foullon, C., Verwichte, E., Nykyri, K., Aschwanden, M.J. and Hannah, I.G. 2013, Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability of the CME Reconnection Outflow Layer in the Low Corona Astrophys. J. 767, 170, [IOP], [DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/767/2/170], [ADS]
  • [45] Verwichte, E., Van Doorsselaere, T., Foullon, C. and White, R.S. 2013, Coronal Alfvén Speed Determination: Consistency between Seismology using AIA/SDO Transverse Loop Oscillations and Magnetic Extrapolation Astrophys. J. 767, 16, [IOP], [DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/767/1/16], [ADS]
  • [44] Lavraud, B., Larroque, E., Budnik, E., Génot, V., Borovsky, J. E., Dunlop, M. W., Foullon C. et al., 2013, Asymmetry of magnetosheath flows and magnetopause shape during low Alfvén Mach number solar wind J. Geophys. Res., 118 (3), 1089-1100 [Wiley], [DOI: 10.1002/jgra.50145], [ADS]
  • [43] Gosain, S. and Foullon, C., 2012, Dual Trigger of Transverse Oscillations in a Prominence by EUV Fast and Slow Coronal Waves: SDO/AIA and STEREO/EUVI Observations Astrophys. J. 761, 103, [IOP], [DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/761/2/103], [ADS]
  • [41] Ruffenach, A., Lavraud, B., Owens, M., Sauvaud, J.-A., Savani, N., Rouillard A., Demoulin P., Foullon C. et al., 2012, Multi-spacecraft observation of magnetic cloud erosion by magnetic reconnection during propagation J. of Geophys. Res. 117, A09101. [AGU], [DOI: 10.1029/2012JA017624], [ADS]
  • [40] Leonardis, E., Chapman, S.C. and Foullon, C., 2012, Turbulent characteristics in the intensity fluctuations of a solar quiescent prominence observed by the Hinode Solar Optical Telescope Astrophys. J. 745, 135. [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/745/2/185], [ADS]
  • [39] Matthews, S.A., Williams, D.R., Klein, K.L., Kontar, E., Smith, D.M., Krucker, S., Lagg, A., Hurford, G., Vilmer, N., MacKinnon, A., Zharkova, V., Fletcher, L., Hannah, I.G., Browning, P., Innes, D., Trottet, G., Foullon, C. et al. 2012, Solar Particle Acceleration Radiation and Kinetics (SPARK): A mission to understand the nature of particle acceleration Experimental Astronomy 33 (2-3 SI) 237 [Springer], [DOI:10.1007/s10686-011-9260-3], [ADS]
  • [37] Foullon, C., Lavraud, B., Luhmann, J.G., Farrugia, C.J., Retinò, A., Simunac, K.D.C., Wardle, N.C., Galvin, A.B., Kucharek, H., Owen, C.J., Popecki, M., Opitz, A. and Sauvaud, J.-A., 2011, Plasmoid Releases in the Heliospheric Current Sheet and Associated Coronal Hole Boundary Layer Evolution Astrophys. J. 737, 16. [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/737/1/16], [ADS]
  • [36] Hershaw, J., Foullon, C., Nakariakov, V.M. and Verwichte, E., 2011, Damped large amplitude transverse oscillations in an EUV solar prominence, triggered by large-scale transient coronal waves Astron. Astrophys. 531, A53. [EDP Sciences], [DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201116750], [ADS]
  • [35] Grimald, S., El-Lemdani-Mazouz, F., Foullon, C., Décréau, P. M. E., Boardsen S., Vallières X., 2011, Study of non-thermal continuum patches: wave propagation and plasmapause study J. Geophys. Res. 116, A07219. [AGU], [DOI: 10.1029/2011JA016476], [ADS]
  • [32] Lavraud, B., Foullon, C., Farrugia, C.J. and Eastwood, J.P., 2011, Magnetopause, Boundary Layers and Pathways to the Magnetotail, The Dynamic Magnetosphere, edited by W. Liu and M. Fujimoto, IAGA Special Sopron Book Series, Volume 3, Part 1, 3-28, [Springer Book], [DOI:10.1007/978-94-007-0501-2_1]
  • [31] Verwichte, E., Marsh, M., Foullon, C., Van Doorsselaere, T., De Moortel, I., Hood, A.W., and Nakariakov, V.M., 2010, Periodic spectral line asymmetries in solar coronal structures from slow magnetoaoustic waves, Astrophys. J. Letters 724, L194-L198. [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/724/2/L194], [ADS]
  • [30] Nakariakov, V.M., Inglis, A.R., Zimovets, I.V., Foullon, C., Verwichte, E., Sych, R. and Myagkova, I.N., 2010, Oscillatory processes in solar flares Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 52, 124009 [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/0741-3335/52/12/124009], [ADS]
  • [29] Foullon, C., Fletcher, L., Hannah, I.G., Verwichte, E., Cecconi, B., Nakariakov, V.M., Phillips, K.J.H. and Tan, B.L., 2010, From Large-scale Loops to the Sites of Dense Flaring Loops: Preferential Conditions for Long-period Pulsations in Solar Flares Astrophys. J. 719, 151-165. [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/719/1/151], [ADS]
  • [28] Verwichte, E., Foullon, C. and Van Doorsselaere, T., 2010, Spatial Seismology of a Large Coronal Loop Arcade from TRACE & EIT Observations of its Transverse Oscillations Astrophys. J. 717, 458-467. [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/717/1/458], [ADS]
  • [27] Foullon, C. and Nakariakov, V.M., 2010, Independent Signals from the Influence of Internal Magnetic Layers on the Frequencies of Solar P-modes, Astrophys. J. Letters 714, L68-L72. [IOP], [DOI:10.1088/2041-8205/714/1/L68], [ADS]
  • [26] Foullon, C., Farrugia, C.J., Fazakerley, A.N., Owen, C.J., Gratton, F.T., Torbert, R.B., 2010, On the Multi-spacecraft Determination of Periodic Surface Wave Phase Speeds and Wavelengths J. Geophys. Res. 115, A09203. [AGU], [DOI: 10.1029/2009JA015189] , [ADS]
  • [25] Lavraud, B., Opitz, A., Gosling, J.T., Rouillard, A.P., Meziane, K., Sauvaud, J.-A., Fedorov, A., Dandouras, I., Génot, V., Jacquey, C., Louarn, P., Mazelle, C., Penou, E., Larson, D.E., Luhmann, J.G., P. Schroeder, P., Jian, L., Russell, C.T., Foullon, C., Skoug, R.M., Steinberg, J.T., Simunac, K.D. and Galvin, A.B., 2010, Statistics of counter-streaming solar wind suprathermal electrons at solar minimum: STEREO observations Annales Geophysicae 28, 233-246. [Copernicus], [ADS]
  • [24] Nakariakov, V.M., Foullon, C., Myagkova, I.N. and Inglis A.R., 2010, Quasi-Periodic Pulsations in the Gamma-Ray Emission of a Solar Flare Astrophys. J. 708, L47-L51. [IOP], [DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/708/1/L47], [ADS]
  • [23] Foullon, C., Farrugia, C.J., Owen, C.J., Fazakerley, A.N., Gratton, F.T., 2010, Kelvin-Helmholtz Multi-Spacecraft Studies at the Earth's Magnetopause Boundaries AIP Proc. 12th Solar Wind Conference, St. Malo, France, June 2009 (Refereed) 1216, 483-486. [AIP], [DOI:10.1063/1.3395908], [ADS], (PDF Document)
  • [22] Foullon, C., Lavraud, B., Owen, C.J., Fazakerley, A.N., Skoug, R.M., 2010, Heliospheric Current Sheet Distortions from Adjacent Outflowing Transients: Multi-spacecraft Observations AIP Proc. 12th International Solar Wind Conference, St. Malo, France, June 2009 (Refereed) 1216, 367-370. [AIP], [DOI:10.1063/1.3395876], [ADS], (PDF Document)
  • [21] Foullon, C., Lavraud, B., Wardle, N.C., Owen, C.J., Kucharek, H., Fazakerley, A.N., Larson, D.E., Lucek, E., Luhmann, J.G., Opitz, A., Sauvaud, J.-A., Skoug, R.M., 2009, The Apparent Layered Structure of the Heliospheric Current Sheet: Multi-Spacecraft Observations Solar Physics 259, Issue 1, 389. [Springer Link], [DOI:10.1007/s11207-009-9452-4], [ADS]
  • [19] Grimald, S., Foullon, C., Décréau, P. M. E., Lerouzic G., Suraud X., Vallières X., 2009, Modulation of NTC frequencies by Pc5 ULF pulsations: experimental test of the generation mechanism and magnetoseismology of the emitting surface J. Geophys. Res. 114, A11211. [AGU], [DOI:10.1029/2009JA014270], [ADS]
  • [18] Foullon, C., Farrugia, C.J., Fazakerley, A.N., Owen, C.J., Gratton, F.T., Torbert, R.B., 2009, Reply to comment by H. Hasegawa on "Evolution of Kelvin-Helmholtz Activity on the Dusk Flank Magnetopause" J. Geophys. Res. 114, A10201. [AGU], [DOI:10.1029/2009JA014444], [ADS]
  • [17] Foullon, C., Verwichte, E. and Nakariakov, V.M., 2009, Ultra-long-period Oscillations in EUV Filaments near to Eruption: Two-Wavelength Correlation and Seismology, Astrophys. J. 700, 1658-1665. [IOP], [DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/700/2/1658], [ADS]
  • [16] Verwichte, E., Aschwanden, M.J., Van Doorsselaere, T., Foullon, C. and Nakariakov, V.M., 2009, Seismology of a Large Solar Coronal Loop from EUVI/STEREO Observations of its Transverse Oscillation Astrophys. J. 698, 397-404. [IOP], [DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/698/1/397], [ADS]
  • [15] Lavraud, B., Gosling, J.T., Rouillard, A.P., Fedorov, A., Opitz, A., Sauvaud, J.-A., Foullon, C., et al., 2009, Observation of a Complex Solar Wind Reconnection Exhaust from Spacecraft Separated by over 1800 RE Solar Physics 256, Issue 1-2, 379-392. [Springer Link], [DOI: 10.1007/s11207-009-9341-x], [ADS]
  • [14] Foullon, C., Farrugia, C.J., Fazakerley, A.N., Owen, C.J., Gratton, F.T., Torbert, R.B., 2008, Evolution of Kelvin-Helmholtz Activity on the Dusk Flank Magnetopause J. Geophys. Res. 113, Issue A11, A11203. [AGU], [DOI: 10.1029/2008JA013175], [ADS]
  • [13] Hu, R., Bogdanova, Y. V., Owen, C. J., Foullon, C., Fazakerley, A. N., Rème, H., 2008, Cluster observations of the midaltitude cusp under strong northward interplanetary magnetic field J. Geophys. Res. 113, Issue A7, A07S05. [AGU], [DOI: 10.1029/2007JA012726], [ADS]
  • [12] Foullon, C., Owen, C.J., Dasso, S., Green, L.M., Dandouras, I., Elliott, H.A., Fazakerley, A.N., Bogdanova, Y.V. and Crooker, N.U., 2007, Multi-Spacecraft Study of the 21 January 2005 ICME: Evidence of Current Sheet Substructure Near the Periphery of a Strongly Expanding, Fast Magnetic Cloud Solar Physics 244, Issue 1-2, 139-165. [Springer Link], [DOI: 10.1007/s11207-007-0355-y], [ADS]
  • [10] Nakariakov, V.M., Foullon, C., Verwichte, E. and Young N.P., 2006, Quasi-periodic modulation of solar and stellar flaring emission by magnetohydrodynamic oscillations in a nearby loop Astron. Astrophys. 452, 343-346. [EDP Sciences] [DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20054608], [ADS]


  • [E] Foullon, C., Holmes-Siedle, A., Crosby, N.B. and Heynderickx, D., 2004, Radiation Hazard and Space Weather Warning Systems, work-package in ESA study REMSIM. [ESA/ESTEC] , [ADS]
  • [D] Foullon, C., 2002, Helioseismology and Diagnostics of Internal Magnetic Layers, PhD Thesis, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews (UK). [ADS]
  • [C] Foullon, C., 1998, The 11-year line in magnetic observatory records, Undergraduate Project Report, Geology and Geophysics Dep., University of Edinburgh (UK). [HTML]
  • [B] Foullon, C., 1997, Migration of Hydrogen in Solid Zirconium, Undergraduate Project Report, Geology and Geophysics Dep., University of Edinburgh (UK).
  • [A] Foullon, C., 1997, Release, CERN Summer Student Report, MISTRAL experiment, ISOLDE, CERN (Switzerland).

News and Projects

In the News:

Research Projects:

  • Hinode Operation Plan (HOP): Long-term dynamics of prominences [HOP 183]
  • Cluster Guest Investigator: Magnetopause Boundary Layer [AO]
  • ISSI Team Leader: Flow-Driven Instabilities of the Sun-Earth System [ISSI]

Memberships and Affiliations:

Research Group

We are part of the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics (CGAFD) and contribute in the area of Solar-Terrestrial Plasmas and Space Weather.


  • Rungployphan Kieokaew (PhD Student 2014-2019), beneficiary of a College studentship.
  • Dr Judith de Patoul (PostDoc 2015-2017), beneficiary of an AXA Research Fund postdoctoral grant.

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