PhD candidate in Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University

Michael Cowley is a PhD candidate jointly supervised by Macquarie University and the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

He works with collaborators on TAIPAN, ZFOURGE and ZFIRE, which are extragalactic surveys tasked with studying the physical processes related to the formation and evolution of galaxies.

Michael completed his undergraduate studies at the Queensland University of Technology, achieving first-class Honours in astrophysics. His Honours thesis was on the detection, observation and characterisation of transiting objects via the Kepler telescope.

Michael's PhD research involves studying supermassive black holes and how they impact their host galaxies. He conducts this research using data gathered from the Magellan and Keck ground-based observatories, as well as the Chandra, XMM-Newton, Herschel, Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes. In addition to his research,

Michael is a strong advocate for outreach and education in astronomy. He is a science liaison for CSIRO's Scientists in Schools program, the current sitting student representative for the the ASA's Education and Public Outreach Chapter, and a member of the IAU Working Group on Theory and Methods in Astronomy Education.


  • 2013–present
    PhD candidate in Astronomy and Physics, Macquarie University/Australian Astronomical Observatory


  • 2013 
    Queensland University of Technology, Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours)