I am currently studying for a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Hertfordshire. For my thesis, I am create computer models of supermassive black holes, and the powerful radio jets that they sometimes produce in the centre of galaxies. The purpose of my project is to find galaxies which might contain two or more giant black holes in orbit around one another, so we can try to find gravitational waves from giant black holes. Most gravitational wave detections so far are from merging black holes which are around 20 or 30 times the mass of our sun. The objects I am looking at are between a million and ten billion times more massive than our sun!

Before starting my PhD I worked in public outreach astronomy for 18 months. I worked at the North Pennines AONB Partnership in helping to build a community telescope, set up a local astronomy society, and design posters and worksheets for teaching astronomy. I have also worked as a freelance writer and graphic designer, and founded an arts and poetry magazine devoted to astronomy.

My undergraduate degree was in the biological sciences, particularly genetics, microbiology and, later, the environmental sciences. I continue to be interested in all aspects of science although astrophysics will always be my first love!

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Candidate, University of Hertfordshire