Welcome to my webpage!

I'm a postdoc in astrophysics in Leiden Observatory and SRON (The Netherlands).
On these pages you will find more about my research, as well as a CV and a list of publications.

Research interests

About 80% of the total baryonic matter of the Universe is in the form of a very hot X-ray emitting plasma, which fills the very large gravitational well in clusters of galaxies. This intra-cluster medium (ICM) is rich in heavy elements (O, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, Ni,...), which do not have a primordial origin. Instead, these atoms have been created by billions of supernovae within cluster galaxies since a major star forming epoch, then spread out and accumulated over cosmic time into the ICM. Using X-ray observatories, I study these metal abundances in the ICM, in order to understand their precise supernovae origins, as well as their transport mechanisms.

Abell 4059

(credit: F.M.)

Cas A supernova

(credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Abell 4038

(credit: F.M.)

Hydra A

(credit: Chandra X-ray obs.)


(credit: Chandra X-ray obs.)

Abell 85

(credit: F.M.)

Tycho supernova

(credit: NASA/CXC/Rutgers)


(credit: ESA)

Perseus cluster

(credit: NASA/CXC/IoA)


First author:



Here are some of my scripts and routines you may find useful...

    - abunfit

    • Fits a set of intra-cluster abundances with a combination of supernova yield models. Several models (either SNcc or SNIa) are available and can be updated or created.


    /!\ If you use abunfit.py for a publication, please cite:
    Mernier, F., de Plaa, J., Pinto, et al. 2016b, A&A, 595, A126

    /!\ If you use the abundance measurements reported in abunfit/cluster/ for a publication, please cite:
    Mernier, F., de Plaa, J., Pinto, et al. 2016a, A&A, 592, A157

    /!\ If you use the supernova yields reported in abunfit/ for a publication, please cite the original papers accordingly.

About Me

I was born in 1989 in Brussels (Belgium). After high school, I did a bachelor in physics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and a master in space sciences at the University of Liège, before starting my PhD in the Netherlands. In my spare time, I play keyboards (self-taught) and sports (swimming, fencing, indoor football). In addition to astronomy (both research and teaching), I have interests in cinema, rock/jazz music, and actuality.


SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
Sorbennelaan 2
NL-3584 CA Utrecht (The Netherlands)
Phone: +31 (0)88 777 5875
Email: F.Mernier _at_ sron.nl

Leiden Observatory
Niels Bohrweg 2
NL-2333 CA Leiden (The Netherlands)
Phone: +31 (0)71 527 8414
Email: mernier _at_ strw.leidenuniv.nl