SAO Instructors

Semester 2/Study Period 3, 2016

SAO has a variety of instructors from both the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing and from various institutions and observatories around the world. Not all instructors teach each semester.

To read about some of our instructors and their "astronomical inspiration" click here

We are currently organising our list of instructors for the next semester.

Note: This is a preliminary allocation and may change prior to semester start.
  • AST80004 Exploring Stars and the Milky Way: Glenn Kacprzak and Edward Taylor
  • Dr Glenn Kacprzak received a B.Sc.(Hons) in Astrophysics from Queen's University, Kingston, Canada in 2001, a M.Sc. in Astronomy from Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, USA in 2008. He is currently an Australian Research council Future Fellow at Swinburne University where he specializes in galaxy evolution and the circumgalactic medium.

    Dr Edward Taylor joined CAS in 2016 as an ARC Future Fellow. His current work is focused on pioneering new approaches to exploiting the phenomenon of weak gravitational lensing in order to measure the amount and distribution of dark matter surrounding individual galaxies. Dr Taylor’s research background is mostly in census-class surveys of galaxies at high and low redshift. After earning his Ph.D. at Sterrewacht Leiden/Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands in 2009, Dr Taylor returned to Australia first as a postdoc first at the University of Sydney, and then as an ARC DECRA Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Since coming home, Dr Taylor has been closely involved in the GAMA and SAMI galaxy survey projects, and is now playing a leading role in the development of the Waves and Taipan galaxy survey projects. In his spare time, he enjoys his favourite chair, which sits in front of a Rotel RA-12, driving a classic pair of Time Frame 500 towers.

  • AST80005 Exploring the Solar System: Sarah Maddison and David Fisher
  • Prof Sarah Maddison is a professor of astrophysics at the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology. Sarah has a BSc(Hons) in applied mathematics and a PhD in computational astrophysics, both from the Mathematics Department at Monash University. Her main areas of interest are star and planet formation, particularly the formation, evolution and dynamics of protoplanetary disks. She spends a lot of her time trying to understand how tiny grains grow to become planets and the observational signatures of (proto)planets in disks. She also studies planetary dynamics. Sarah has worked at New Mexico State University in the USA and at the Observatoire de Grenoble in France. At Swinburne Sarah is part of the Stars & Planets Group and her team work on a range of planet formation problems, using both numerical codes and large telescopes to study dust in planet-forming disks. For ten years Sarah was the SAO coordinator and in 2012 led the team to win a prestigious Citation Award from the Commonwealth Government and the 2012 Swinburne Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Award. Sarah is also involved in a range of outreach activities including AstroTour and Scientists in Schools. Sarah is the Dean of the School of Science.

    Dr David Fisher is a postdoctoral fellow at Swinburne University.

  • AST80006 Galaxies and their Place in the Universe: Duncan Forbes
  • Prof Duncan Forbes has been a faculty member in the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing since August 2000. A New Zealander, who did his PhD at Cambridge, Duncan has also spent time at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Lick Observatory in California and most recently as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham in England. Over the years, he has worked on various aspects of galaxy evolution with a recent fondness for globular clusters in external galaxies.

  • AST80011 (formerly HET617) Major Project: Computational Astrophysics : Jarrod Hurley and Matthew Bailes
  • Prof. Jarrod Hurley has a B.Sc.(Hons) in Applied Mathematics from Monash University and obtained a Ph.D. from the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge in 2000. He has worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and is now a lecturer at the Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology.

    Jarrod works mostly in the area of computational astrophysics, focussing on the evolution of stars, binaries and star clusters. Specifically he is interested in the link between these areas and performs N-body simulations on special-purpose GRAPE computers, GPUs and supercomputers. These simulations show how star clusters evolve and look at the exotic stars and binaries that can be produced along the way. Jarrod has also looked at the consequences for planetary evolution in the dense environment of a star cluster. He is also involved in Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini observing programs. b>Prof. Matthew Bailes leads the Centre's pulsar group. His main scientific interests concern the discovery and high precision timing of millisecond radio pulsars and the discovery of extragalactic fast radio bursts (FRBs). He is the theme leader of the Dynamic Universe for the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) and the chair of the Collaboration for Astronomical Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER). Together with Willem van Straten he is overseeing the development of the Square Kilometre Array's pulsar processor. He collaborates extensively with MPIfR, the University of Manchester, the Cagliari Radio Observatory, Caltech and the CSIRO. In 2013 his team commenced work on upgrading the Molonglo Radio Observatory so that it could time pulsars and find FRBs.

  • AST80013 (formerly HET615) Major Project - Observational Astronomy: Mel Hulbert
  • Melissa Hulbert completed a BSc. (Hons) in Physics at the University of Western Sydney, during which she worked as a night guide/lecturer at Sydney Observatory (part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) where she now works full-time as an Astronomy Programs Coordinator. In between, she contributed a column to Lab News Magazine and then later spent some time as Assistant Editor on both Lab News and Today's Life Sciences Magazines. She is a member of the Australia Science Communicators and in 2000 she was part of the 'Science in the Pub' team that won an Australian Eureka Award for Science Promotion. Melissa also teaches astronomy courses at WEA and the St George and Sutherland Community College. She has been an active member of Sutherland Astronomical Society for over 15 years with her main interest in astro-imaging. She initiated the formation of the Astro-Imaging group which she coordinated for ten years before stepping down at the end of 2014. Melissa's main interests have always been comets and eclipses, but if it's up there and not beyond the range of the equipment she's using then she's happy to snap its portrait. Melissa has been learning to read and translate Egyptian hieroglyphs and has been able to combine this with her interest in archeoastronomy. When time allows, Melissa likes nothing better than spending time imaging the wonders of a clear, dark night sky with a few friends.

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