I have a broad knowledge base and skillset in the area of astrophysics research including transiting exoplanets, stellar atmosphere pollution, Gaia transients, remote/robotic observatory operation and maintenance, rapid response photometry and spectroscopy. I also have extensive experience of undergraduate teaching across the sciences and disseminating recent astronomical research to the general public in an accessible and enthusiastic manner.
I am the lead-research scientist on the semi-robotic remote telescope facility, PIRATE based in Mallorca. I utilise this facility to identify and categorise the transiting exoplanet candidates identified by the SuperWASP survey. I also work with the Gaia satellite, as PIRATE is a follow-up facility for the photometric science alerts triggered by Gaia's data analysis pipeline.
As a result of these diverse research interests I have a broad skill base covering photometry, spectroscopy and robotic telescope operation and maintenance as well as a broad knowledge base covering transiting exoplanets and the wide variety of objects flagged by the Gaia follow-up work including interacting binary stars and supernovae.
November 2015: Open University 'Going the Extra Mile Award' in recognition of significant contributions to PIRATE.
March 2014: Royal Astronomical Society Grant to upgrade the hard drives storing the science output of the PIRATE facility in preparation for my research.
October 2013 - September 2016: Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship for 3 years on a 0.5 FTE basis.
September 2005: Place at the UK GRAD School for personal and career development
September 2003 - August 2006: PPARC (now STFC) Funded PhD Studentship at Keele University
August 2002 - September 2002: Nuffield Foundation Research Bursary
As part of the Open University's nationwide team I have previously presented S282 Astronomy & S382 Astrophysics at undergraduate level and currently present S104 Exploring Science to students around the world. This role requires me to present tutorials and seminars both face-to-face and via an on-line interactive learning environment, support students by e-mail, on forums and on the phone as well as providing feedback on their submitted work.
Since the start of my fellowship I have enhanced PIRATE’s impact to the general public by giving them the experience of operating a research class telescope. I have also promoted my research at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition and the Northern Ireland Science Festival explaining it’s impact to the public and inspiring the next generation into STEM based careers.
Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
Member of the Institute of Physics
Member of the British Association of Planetaria
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