Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, playing a critically important and central role in the history of science and in the traditions and Knowledge Systems of cultures around the world, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of Australia. Research in the Astrophysics group focuses on Cultural Astronomy, History and Philosophy of Science, Astronomical Heritage, Social Studies of Space, and Dark Sky Studies. This interdisciplinary work draws upon methods and frameworks in the social sciences, physical and natural sciences, and the humanities.
Our work in Cultural Astronomy focuses on collaborating with elders and knowledge custodians to document their astronomical Knowledge Systems and cultural traditions relating to the stars. This involves learning first-hand from elders, collating and re-analysing archival records, and studying material culture and archaeological sites. We work closely with communities Australia, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, Central and Mesoamerica, and Basque Country of Europe. Our work highlights myriad ways that observations of the positions and characteristics of celestial objects are used for a range of things, including seasonal calendars, predicting time, forecasting weather, and informing social structure.
Research in the History and Philosophy of Science examines the role of science in the cultural contexts of groups around the world, how it is developed and utilised, and how the Cultural Interface of these Knowledge Systems can provide solutions to emerging social and environmental issues. Our emerging work in Dark Sky Studies focuses on examining ways that we can preserve intangible astronomical heritage through the reduction and management of light pollution.
Projects exist for students interested in pursuing research topics in these areas, ranging from undergraduate to PhD studies.
SUPERVISOR PROFILES & AVAILABLE RESEARCH PROJECTS
- Cultural Astronomy (incl. Indigenous Astronomy)
- Historical Astronomy
- History & Philosophy of Science
- Dark Sky Studies
- Social Studies of Space
- Astronomy Education
- Dating Tasmanian Aboriginal astronomical traditions to 12,000 years ago Wednesday 19 May 2021 @ 11:00 a.m., David Caro building[...]
- Massive quiescent galaxies in the early universe: understanding their prevalence and physical properties Wednesday 12 May 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., David Caro building[...]
- The Circumgalactic Medium at Cosmic Noon with KCWI Wednesday 28 Apr 2021 @ 12 p.m., David Caro building, L[...]
- Building Confidence in Next-Generation 21cm Cosmology: A Forward-Model Approach Wednesday 05 May 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., David Caro building[...]
- Simultaneous Multi-Wavelength Observations (Gamma, X-ray, UV, Optical, and Radio) of Two FRBs Wednesday 21 Apr 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., David Caro building[...]
- A quantitative assessment of completeness correction methods in UV Luminosity function calculations Wednesday 24 Mar 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., David Caro building[...]
- Galileo's astronomical observations: when pushing back the frontiers was risky business Wednesday 17 Mar 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., David Caro building[...]