a picture of me


I am an Australian Research Council Early Career Fellow at the School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Tasmania.

My main research interests are concerned with active black holes. If you prefer videos to text, have a look at a basic introduction to my research (and biography!) here. Otherwise, read on.

On the astronomy side, I am primarily interested in the formation and evolution of galaxies. A major focus of my research is the interaction between galaxies and supermassive black holes (or Active Galactic Nuclei, abbreviated to AGN). I study both how the black holes regulate the star formation history and gas content of the Universe, and also the reverse: how the processes that shape galaxies affect AGN activity. My broader research interests include feedback processes outside the astrophysical context.

In geodesy, Active Galactic Nuclei essentially serve as beacons that can be used to measure positions on Earth. This means that I spend a fair bit of my time looking at the sky in order to figure out what is happening on the ground. The Very Large Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) technique used for position measurements is mind-bogglingly precise: distances between radio telescopes separated by thousands of kilometres (for example, in Tasmania and Hawaii) can be routinely measured to within a couple of centimetres! Even this might not be good enough for some geophysical questions, however. To achieve even higher precision, AGN physics as well as other effects such as antenna deformation and distribution of telescopes must be understood.

Outside work, I am involved with the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics. If you are a fellow Tasmanian, or just happen to be visiting, feel free to come along to one of our public lectures.

I am also involved in citizen science projects, and am particularly excited about Radio Galaxy Zoo. If you like the idea of browsing through pictures of erupting black holes billions of light years away, you can have some fun while at the same time actively contributing to real scientific research.