Hi my name's Jake Clark and my definition of a 'day job' is discovering alien worlds that no human has laid eyes upon before – pretty rad, right!? Based at the University of Southern Queensland's Toowoomba campus, my PhD research is using machine learning to help predict what stars host exoplanets, and in particular stars that are currently being observed by NASA's new planet finding mission, TESS.

Other research interests involve directly hunting for exoplanets using Queensland's very own planet finding telescope array MinERVA-Australis, re-calibrating the orbital parameters of known planetary systems and determining the chemical and geological composition of large rocky and small gassy worlds known as super-Earths.

During the spare time I do have, I'm a freelance science communicator informing and empowering everyday Australians about the importance (and fun!) of STEM. The usual suspect activities I'm involved with include: facilitating hands-on workshops in schools, running public observing nights in the Darling Downs, talking science on community radio and curating engaging media articles about the latest astronomical discoveries.

Experience

  • 2017–present
    PhD Candidate, University of Southern Queensland

Education

  • 2016 
    Australian National University, Master of Science Communication Outreach
  • 2014 
    The University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science(Honours)
  • 2013 
    The University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science(Space Science and Astrophysics)