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
- Studying the Tiniest, Oldest Galaxies in the Milky Way's Assembly History through Chemical Tagging and Kinematics Wednesday 20 Oct 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., Zoom Kaley Brauer,[...]
- Improving estimates of the growth rate of structure with galaxy-velocity cross correlations Wednesday 13 Oct 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., Zoom Ryan Turner, S[...]
- Exploring exotic transients in modern surveys Wednesday 29 Sep 2021 @ 04:00 p.m., Zoom Dr Charlotte A[...]
- Open questions in formation of compact binary star systems Wednesday 22 Sep 2021 @ 04:00 p.m., Zoom Sophie Lund Sc[...]
- Evolution of Stellar Feedback from Reionization to The Milky Way: A Diverse Toolset of Imaging, Spectroscopy, and Modelling for Understanding the Impact of Massive Stars Wednesday 08 Sep 2021 @ 10:00 a.m., Zoom Grace Olivier,[...]
- Search, analysis and localization of FRBs Wednesday 25 Aug 2021 @ 10:00 a.m., Zoom Kshitij Aggarw[...]
- Lya Transmission in the Reionizing Intergalactic Medium Wednesday 18 Aug 2021 @ 12:00 p.m., Zoom Dr Hyunbae Par[...]