School of Physics Astrophysics

Alumni

Past students of the Astrophysics group and their stellar careers.

We've complied a list of all past postgraduate students of the Astrophysics Group including a brief potted career history and their research interests and/or professional activities. If you would like to submit an update or have a question please email: adminsupport@physics.unimelb.edu.au

Information is current to July 2014.

PhDs (since 1997)

Year

Name

Where Did They Go &/or Where Are They Now?

Research Interests &/or Other Activities

1997

Frank Masci

Staff Scientist, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, Caltech, USA

Frank's research interests are in image processing and reconstruction, methodologies for detecting variables and transients, machine learning, data mining, and statistical inference in general.

1998

David Barnes

Platform Manager; Senior Research Fellow, Monash Immersive Visualiastion Platform (CAVE2), Monash University

David has published in the fields of radio astronomy, signal processing, scientific visualisation, visualisation for communication, education and outreach, and biomedical image management, analysis and visualisation. He has particular expertise in parallel supercomputing using graphical processing units for image computation and visualisation, and has significant experience as a project scientist in major e-research projects.

1999

Maurizio Toscano

Lecturer in Science Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Maurizio has a strong interest in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and communicating climate change. Maurizio’s approach to climate change is informed by the breadth of his academic experiences: his doctoral training was in astrophysics; he has undertaken and supervised research into the role of aesthetics and the scientific imagination in science education; he has explored the relationship between art and science through collaborations with artists (eg the Syzygy project) and more recently has been examining perspectives on environmental and science education that draw upon the works of philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Cavell.

1999

Christopher Fluke

Associate Professor, Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

Chris' main research interests are in 3D astronomy visualization, computational techniques for gravitational lensing, and the use of graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the rate of astronomical discovery.

2000

Michael Brown

Senior Lecturer and ARC Future Fellow, Monash University

Michael is an observational astronomer whose research interests include the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and the growth of galaxies over cosmic time. He undertakes this research, in collaboration with many others, using large surveys of the Universe including Galaxy & Mass Assembly survey (GAMA), the NOAO Deep Wide-field Survey (NDWFS), the Spitzer Deep Wide-Field Survey (SDWFS), the AGN & Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES) and planned surveys with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder and TAIPAN.

2000

Daniel Mortlock

Lecturer in Astrostatistics, Imperial College London

Daniel's research mainly involves the application of statistical ideas - particularly Bayesian inference - to problems in astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology.

2001

Virginia Kilborn

Deputy Director, Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

Virginia's main research interest is in surveying the Universe for Neutral Hydrogen (HI). I have worked on the HIPASS and HIJASS surveys in the past, and am now working towards the next generation radio surveys such as ASKAP, Apertif, and the SKA.

2001

Matthew Whiting

Develops science analysis software for the ASKAP processing pipeline, Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO

Matthew's background is in the optical and infrared part of the spectrum, but he's also getting some radio experience at ATNF. Topics of interest include: Optical & infrared emission processes of quasars and active galaxies; the relationship between optical and radio emission in quasars; absorption lines seen in quasar and radio galaxy spectra, particularly at radio wavelengths, and variable and transient objects, particularly in the radio.

2002

Stuart Wyithe

ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne

Stuart's primary research interests lie in the field of quasar formation and reionisation in the early universe. In particular, the evolution of the earliest galaxies and how this evolution may be studied with the next generation of radio telescopes. He also works in the field of gravitational lensing where he studies problems in quasar microlensing, and the statistical properties of gravitational lensing by galaxies.

2003

Alicia Oshlack*

Head, Bioinformatics Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

The bioinformatics research group analyses data from high-throughput genetic technologies in collaboration with a diverse range of medical research groups. This includes: 1. Analysis of RNA-seq and ChIP-seq and understanding the regulation of gene expression in disease; 2. Epigenetic regulation including DNA methylation microarrays; and 3. Detecting disease causing variants in the human genome using high-throughput sequencing technologies.

2004

Martin Meyer

Research Associate Professor, International Centre for Radio Astronomy, University of Western Australia

Specialisation: HI Surveys, Galaxy Formation and Evolution

2004

Matthew O’Dowd**

Faculty Lecturer and Course Coordinator, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Lehman College, City University of New York

Academic Interests: Observational and theoretical astrophysics; multi-disciplinary science education. Research: Active galactic nuclei (AGNs); studies of AGN central engines with gravitational microlensing and reverberation mapping; models of AGN broad emission line regions; AGN variability studies; epoch of reionization measurements using improved Lyman-alpha line templates; multiwavelength studies of galaxy evolution; mid-to-far infrared diagnostics of galaxies; dust and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in galaxies.

2004

Emma Ryan-Weber

ARC QEII Fellow/Senior Lecturer, Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology

Emma leads the intergalactic medium research group at Swinburne whose science focuses on detecting metals in absorption at very high redshifts. To achieve this they use near-infrared spectroscopy towards high redshift quasars on the world's largest telescopes including Keck and the VLT. The group also works on high redshift galaxies and their influence on reionization, including their escaping fraction of ionizing radiation. My Emma's PhD was on HI in the local Universe, and she still has an active interest in this field.

2005

Arna Karick

eResearch Consultant, Research Information Services, Swinburne University of Technology

eResearch; data management facilities, policies and guidelines.

2005

Jamie Stevens

Senior Systems Scientist, Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), CSIRO

 

2005

Cathryn Trott

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Slow Transient Algorithms (CAASTRO), International Centre for Radio Astronomy, Curtin University

Signal processing theory; signal estimation and detection; calibration of radio interferometers; Epoch of Reionisation estimation; radio astronomy algorithms.

2005

Randall Wayth

Senior Research Fellow, International Centre for Radio Astronomy, Curtin University

Specialisation: Technical astronomy.

2005

Donald Payne

Scientific and Policy Director, Direct Energy (geothermal commercial start-up company)

Geothermal Heat Pump Industry: "Direct Energy has a strong reputation for safe and reliable delivery of direct geothermal energy solutions to the commercial industry with one of our technical specialists, Dr Donald Payne, considered one of the most experienced and respected proponents of Australian Direct Use Geothermal Systems. See http://www.directenergy.com.au/

2006

Meryl Waugh

Artist, scientist and teacher, Various

University of Melbourne PhD thesis on "Neutral hydrogen in Fornax and Eridanus - blind basketweaving for beginners".

2007

Carlos Peralta

Research and Development, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach, Germany

Also: Aerodynamics and CFD, Fraunhofer IWES, Oldenburg, Germany.

2008

Swati Filippova (nee Singh)

2014 - Secondary School Teacher Physics/Science, Melbourne Grammar School

She also teaches an elective subject: ‘Astrophysics-Robotics and Rockets ’.

2008

Jhan Srbinovsky

Researcher - Earth System Modelling Team, The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology partnership)

Modelling Human-Climate Interactions, Land Surface Modelling.

2008

Matthias Vigelius

Research Fellow, Centre for Computational Science, Monash University

(Declined a postdoctoral fellowship in theoretical astrophysics and numerical relativity at Cornell University, USA). Postdoctoral fellowship in computational biology (Self-organized Collective Decision Making in Dynamic Environments).

2008

Oiwei (Ivy) Wong

ARC Super Science Fellow, International Centre for Radio Astronomy, University of Western Australia

Ivy was a postdoctoral associate in the Astronomy Department of Yale University, USA. Ivy is currently an observational astronomer who studies how galaxies start and stop forming stars. She specialises in multiwavelength observations of nearby galaxies and extragalactic surveys of neutral Hydrogen (HI) with the aim of studying the detailed processes of star formation and evolution of nearby galaxies.

2010

Sally Langford

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Climate Processes Research Group, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), The University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

After a stint at The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (joint CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology group), Sally currently researches multi-decadal droughts in western North America using global climate models, as part of the NSF project: Investigation of Decadal Climate Predictability and Hydroclimate Impacts (IDCPI) on the Western US.

2010

Nicholas Bate

Postdoctoral Fellow and "Galactic Archaeologist", The Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA), University of Sydney

Nick is part of a group that conducts research in many exciting frontline areas including stellar astrophysics, plasma astrophysics, cataclysmic variables, black-hole binaries, masers, pulsars, supernovae and their remnants, the interstellar medium and the Galactic Centre. Beyond our Galaxy, they study normal galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, clusters of galaxies, active galaxies & quasars, gravitational lensing and cosmology.

2010

Adrian Melchiori

Commercial Research, OMC International

OMC International provides under keel clearance advice to 19+ ports around the world (from Iron ore ports like Hedland and Dampier in WA, to the Port of Melbourne, to the Columbia River in Portland), ensuring that large vessels don't ground while trying to sail into and out of a port.

2010

Christine Chung

Researcher - Climate Processes and Impacts Team, The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology partnership)

Climate change science; data visualisation.

2010

Alpha Mastrano

Research Fellow (Casual), Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne

MSc on superfluid dynamics (U. Melb, 2006); PhD on the origin of magnetic fields in relativistic stars.

2011

Paul Geil

Research Fellow, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne

Galaxy formation and evolution. Cosmic reionisation. Low-frequency radio interferometry.

2011

Lila Warszawski

Postdoctoral Fellow, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Since October 2011 Lila has been a post-doctoral researcher in Research Domain II Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities at PIK. She is also a member of the co-ordination team of the ISI-MIP project (www.isi-mip.org), focussing on the global vegetation models.

2011

Cornelis (Anthony) van Eysden

Nordita Fellow (Postdoctoral prize fellowship), Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA), Stockholm, Sweden

Anthony's primary research interest is bulk nuclear matter in neutron stars. His 2012 doctoral thesis showed how the transport coefficients arising from strong interactions can be inferred from radio timing and gravitational wave observations of pulsars. The work has also been successfully applied to explain terrestrial liquid helium experiments.

2012

Andrea Ruff

Project Manager, Product Operations, trivago (internet travel company), Germany

Andrea's 2012 thesis was titled: 'The broad emission line region of quasars and gravitational lensing by early-type galaxies', a study into the behaviour of gas around super-massive black holes.

2012

Christina Magoulas

SARChI Postdoctoral Fellow in Extragalactic Astronomy, University of Capetown, South Africa

WISE; Large-scale structure and cosmic flows; 6dF Galaxy Survey.

2013

Bradley Greig

Postdoctoral Fellow, Scuola Normale Superiore, University of Pisa, Italy

•Large-structure formation/simulations (semi analytic and numerical) •Perturbation theory prescriptions for structure formation •Lyα forest and LAE galaxies as cosmological probes •GPU based simulations and computing

Large-structure formation/simulations (semi analytic and numerical)

•Perturbation theory prescriptions for structure formation

•Lyα forest and LAE galaxies as cosmological probes

•GPU based simulations and computing

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* Read Alicia Oshlack's article "A 10-step guide to party conversation for bioinformaticians"

10stepGuide 10stepGuide.pdf 535.09 kB

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** Listen to an audio interview with Matt O'Dowd about his career choice

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Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) since 1996

Year

Name

Where Did They Go &/or Where Are They Now?

Research Interests &/or Other Activities

MPhil

1996

Robert Schmidt

Self-employed software and nanotechnology expert. (unconfirmed)

 

MPhil

1997

Brett Holman

Lecturer, School of Humanities, University of New England.

Teaching Areas - Modern European history, Modern British history, War and society. Research Interests -

*The theory, anticipation and experience of aerial bombardment in Britain, c.1900 to 1945, particularly in the civilian and public sphere.

*Airmindedness and the aeroplane in British and Australian culture.

*Panic and fear in the modern era, particularly in Britain but also as a transnational phenomenon.

*Mystery aircraft scares in the early twentieth century.

*The history and memory of war, in Britain and Australia.

MPhil

2000

Malte Marquarding

Works in the Computing Group at Australia Telescope National Facility, CSIRO.

Late-Type Galaxies

MPhil

2004

Oiwei (Ivy) Wong

Completed a PhD with Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

See above

MPhil

2006

Alpha Mastrano

Completed a PhD with Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

See above

MPhil

2006

Travis Stenborg

Currently completing a PhD, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Sydney.

After completing his studies on minor planets, Travis worked as a software engineer; completed a solo desert crossing; and then a MComp(Hons) (ANU, 2009), before starting his current PhD research on planetary nebulae.

MPhil

2010

Stephen Petrie

Currently completing a PhD in epidemiology at the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne.

Stephen’s Masters’ thesis was on analysing galactic structure in the universe. He then began a PhD in epidemiology in 2010, working on mathematical models of the within-host dynamics of the influenza virus, and the subsequent ramifications regarding population-level flu transmission. His research expertise includes influenza, viral immunology, mathematical modelling, infectious disease epidemiology and computational modelling.

MPhil

2012

Sudhir Raskutti

Currently completing a PhD in the Department of Astrophysics, Princeton University, USA.

Sudhir’s thesis was on the thermal memory of reionization.

MPhil

2014

Nastaran Rezaee

Considering a PhD in nano-physics.

MPhil thesis: ‘Noise Characterization of the Murchison Widefield Array Simulation’.

Masters of Science (MSc) (replaced Honours in 2009)

MSc

2010

Sarah Traine

Currently completing a PhD, Macquarie University, Sydney.

MSc: 'Polarimetry of low and high energy neutron star emisssions'. Sarah's PhD is investigating planetary and protostellar disks.

MSc

2010

Taissa Danilovich

Currently completing a PhD, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

MSc: ‘The Physics of the Tully-Fisher Relation’.

Taïssa currently studies molecules (mainly) which are being ejected from low- to intermediate-mass stars after they run out of hydrogen fuel to fuse in their core. This will be the fate of stars like our sun. Studying the rate at which matter is ejected from these stars and the composition of the ejecta teaches us about the chemical evolution and composition of matter in galaxies. This is especially true since AGB stars are responsible for the production of a significant portion of heavier elements.

MSc

2010

Lachlan Hislop

After spending six months as a Data Officer with the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Lachlan is now employed as a Graduate Project Officer in the areas of Corporate Strategy & Business Planning and Prevention Strategy & Research at Worksafe Victoria.

MSc: 'The extra-galactic distance scale: a Tip of the Red Giant Branch calibration of the Tully-Fisher Relation'.

MSc

2011

Rhyan Hoey

Working as an engineer/research consultant, BMT Design & Technology, Melbourne Office. (unconfirmed)

MSc: 'Stratified spherical Couette flow in neutron stars'.

MSc

2011

Craig Burnett

Currently completing a PhD, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

MSc: 'Radio emission physics via stokes tomography'.

MSc

2011

Catherine de Burgh-Day

Currently completing a PhD, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

MSc: 'Detecting and studying weakly lensed objects using neutral hydrogen velocity maps'.

MSc

2011

Robert Barone-Nugent

Currently completing a PhD, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

MSc: 'Improving type 1A supernovas as distance indicators in the near infrared'.

MSc

2011

Timothy Bedin

(Python) Software programmer. (unconfirmed).

MSc: 'Extended source subtraction with the MWA'. Tim’s interests include software development, HTML5, data analytics, web development, Java script, Open Source.

MSc

2012

Tracey Ly

Unknown

MSc: 'The near-infrared broad emission lines of active galactic nuclei - how do they vary?'

MSc

2013

Belinda Nicholson

Currently completing a PhD, University of Southern Queensland.

Currently studying the colliding galaxies in the far away universe.

MSc

2013

Patrick Clearwater

Currently completing a PhD, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

MSc: 'Phantom: A new tool for gravitational wave experiments with neutron star oscillation modes in the advanced detector era'.

MSc

2013

Sinem Ozbilgen

Currently completing a PhD, Astrophysics Group, University of Melbourne.

MSc: 'Is There A Third Parameter In The Tully-Fisher Relation?'

MSc

2014

Nicole Darman

Undecided

MSc: ‘Searching for gravitational waves from supernova remnant SNR 1987A’.

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