Associate professor, Monash University

I am an observational astronomer, studying how galaxies evolve over billions of years.

I was born and raised in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs. My interest in astronomy began as a child, when the Voyager spacecraft visited the outer planets. I undertook my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne during the 1990s. For my PhD, I used (now antiquated) photographic plates to identify thousands of galaxies and measure their distribution in space.

In 2000 I joined the staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and started working on surveys of the distant Universe with large ground-based telescopes and satellites. In 2004 I was awarded Princeton University’s Henry Norris Russell Fellowship, and studied the growth of the most massive galaxies. Using thousands of galaxies in the constellation of Bootes, I found that the most massive galaxies have grown slowly over the past seven billion years, which is almost certainly due to mergers of galaxies.

Since 2007 I have been at Monash University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. I am measuring spectra of galaxies across the electromagnetic spectrum, which is useful for measuring the distances to galaxies, the luminosities of galaxies and how rapidly galaxies form stars. I am also using large astronomical surveys to measure how rapidly galaxies are growing, and how this growth compares to the growth of dark matter halos.

Experience

  • 2015–present
    Associate professor, Monash University
  • 2011–2015
    ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer , Monash University
  • 2007–2010
    Lecturer, Monash University
  • 2004–2006
    H.N. Russell Fellow, Princeton University
  • 2000–2004
    Research Associate, National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Education

  • 2001 
    University of Melbourne, PhD/Astronomy
  • 1996 
    University of Melbourne, MSc/Astronomy
  • 1994 
    University of Melbourne, BSc(hons)/Physics

Research Areas

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