Pavel Denisenkov

University of Victoria
Group Member

Pavel Denisenkov is a senior research associate at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Victoria. He obtained his PhD degree at the Leningrad State University in 1990 and his Doctor of Science degree at the same university in 2002. He has a strong expertise in the theory of stellar evolution and numerical modeling of mixing processes coupled to nucleosynthesis in stars. 

He worked as a research associate, Humboldt Fellow and postdoctoral fellow at the Sobolev Astronomical Institute of the Saint Petersburg University (Russia), Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics (Germany), University of Victoria (Canada), Dartmouth College (USA) and Ohio State University (USA) before coming back to the University of Victoria in 2009 to work with professors Don VandenBerg and Falk Herwig. 

Pavel was the first to include the reaction 22Ne(p,gamma)23Na in computations of H-burning phases of stellar evolution and to show that it could be responsible for Na overabundances in giant stars. He also proposed that the anomalously high Li abundances in a small fraction of red giants could be produced via the Cameron-Fowler mechanism, provided that those stars were spun up by the tidal force in a close binary system or as a result of swallowing an orbiting giant planet. 

His most recent works are related to the physics of nova stars, SNIa progenitors, and to the chemical evolution of globular clusters. In a collaboration with the TRIUMF, NuGrid and MESA teams,  Pavel has been developing and maintaining the Nova Framework that allows to simulate CO and ONe nova outbursts and post-process in detail their nucleosynthesis. With his UVic colleagues, Falk Herwig, Sam Jones and Mike Chen, Pavel has proposed a new class of hybrid white-dwarf models that consist of a small CO core surrounded by a thick ONe shell and that may lead to unusually weak SNIa explosions.