Head of Education and Public Outreach LSST, Australian Astronomical Observatory

I am an observational astronomer studying every aspect of galaxies. I use earth-based and orbiting space telescopes to explore variations in how galaxies formed, how they lived their lives, and how they evolved into the diverse array of galaxy species we see today through star-formation and merging together.

I came to Australia in 2010 with an ARC Super Science Fellowship and am currently a Research Astronomer and Outreach Officer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory. In March 2015, I was named one of Australia's "Top 5 Under 40” science researchers and communicators.

I became formally fascinated by the cosmos when Comet Hale-Bopp sat in the evening sky for many months in 1997. I eventually embraced my curiosities about how the world works by studying physics at the University of Cincinnati. After attaining that degree, I wasn't quite satisfied, so I pursued a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Texas at Austin.

Afterwards, I worked at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, the Gemini Observatory in Chile, and at the University of Nottingham in the UK, where I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the YouTube video series "Sixty Symbols of Physics and Astronomy" (http://www.sixtysymbols.com/). You can find me online as @astropixie.

Currently I am the Head of Education and Public Outreach for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a new 8.4-metre telescope being built in Chile. I am based with the Head Offices in Tucson, Arizona.

Experience

  • 2017–present
    Head of Education and Public Outreach, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
  • 2013–present
    Astronomer and Outreach Officer, Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • 2010–2013
    Super Science Fellow, Australian Astronomical Observatory
  • 2008–2010
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Nottingham, UK,

Education

  • 2008 
    University of Texas at Austin, PhD, Astrophysics
  • 2002 
    University of Cincinnati, Bachelor of Physics

Research Areas

  • Cosmology And Extragalactic Astronomy (020103)
  • Astronomical And Space Sciences (0201)

Honours

Australian Institute of Physics NSW Community Outreach to Physics Award 2015, "Top 5 Under 40" among Australian Researchers and Science Communicators