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
- A toy model of galaxy evolution inspired by stellar metallicity measurements from the SAMI survey Wednesday December 2nd 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Dr S[...]
- CMB Cosmology with BICEP/Keck and SPT-3G Wednesday November 25th 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Dr[...]
- Veloce - and what it takes to open new discovery phase space for exoplanets, without spending a bomb. Wednesday November 18th 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Pro[...]
- The evolution (or not) of the star formation efficiency, dust content, and duty cycle of high-z galaxies Wednesday November 11th 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Dr[...]
- Can uncertainties in the evolution of the massive stars explain EM and GW observations? Wednesday October 21st 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Pooj[...]
- Probing the nature of dark matter with galaxy-galaxy strong gravitational lensing Wednesday October 14th 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Doro[...]
- Real or not real? What cosmological simulations can (and cannot) tell us about the cold phase of the CGM Wednesday September 30th 2020 @12pm, Zoom Colloquium Dr[...]