Matthew Willson Tribute

Matthew Alexander Willson (1990-2022)

Matthew Willson was an expert in the realm of high angular resolution imaging from ground-based telescopes. He explored planet formation in the accretion disc of young stellar objects and he helped develop software tools for wavefront sensing with the European Extremely Large Telescope.

Whilst visiting his long-term girlfriend Katherine Shepard (a PhD student in astronomy at Georgia State University in Atlanta), he was struck by a stray gunshot that entered the apartment where he was staying. He died in hospital a few days later on January 18th, 2022. This premature and tragic end to the life of such a promising young scientist has devastated his colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic.

Matthew made friends wherever he travelled in his journey in astronomy. His quick-wit, infectious smile, and gentle nature contributed to him being a much-loved member of his various research groups. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and the students he inspired at Royal Holloway, University of Exeter, Georgia State University, and University of Liège. Therefore, the SOC and LOC dedicate this meeting to his memory.