ICRAR’s research staff form the backbone of our activities in astronomy, engineering and data intensive astronomy.
They work across our many projects in areas as varied as telescope systems design and verification, large scale simulations of the Universe, and the overwhelming computing systems required for the next generation of telescopes and galaxy surveys.
P: 08 9266 3785
I specialise in the rapid radio follow-up and monitoring of high energy transients. I study a wide range of astronomical transients (explosive or eruptive events) including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), supernovae, black hole X-ray binaries, tidal disruption events, magnetars and flare stars.
Omar Anwar is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), at the University of Western Australia. He holds a BS degree in Electronic Engineering from Muhammad Ali Jinnah University, Islamabad, which he obtained in 2007, and an MS degree in Embedded Systems Engineering from the University of Leeds, which he completed in 2009. Before pursuing his doctoral studies, he worked as an academic and researcher at several universities. Omar’s research interests are primarily focused on Machine Learning, Low Power Computing, and Wireless Sensor Networks. During his PhD, he worked extensively on developing an innovative, low-power, low-cost, and long-range smart system for remote beehive health monitoring in Australia. He also developed the world’s first machine learning model for beehive weight estimation, which has been widely praised by the beekeeping community. Currently, Omar is associated with the Data Intensive Astronomy (DIA) group at ICRAR, where he is primarily engaged in minimizing RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) in Radio Waves, a critical issue in the field of astronomy.
P: 08 9266 9174
– Data analytics and statistical inference
– Data visualization
– Programming (Python, R, Matlab, etc.)
– Observational astronomy (radio, infrared, optical, X-rays)
– Black hole and neutron star astrophysics
(Forrest Fellow) Lecturer
Nichole Barry uses next-generation radio interferometers to look back in time to the infant Universe. Her cutting-edge analysis techniques will allow her to observe the faint glow of gas that the first stars inevitably destroy, and from this information, she hopes to constrain models of the Universe so we can investigate the last-remaining mysteries of the Universe, including the origin of dark matter and dark energy. She is a Forrest Fellow at Curtin University, and was previously an ASTRO 3D postdoctoral research at the University of Melbourne. She received her PhD in Physics in 2018 from the University of Washington, and loves to play the electric guitar and any type of sport.
P: 08 6488 3819
Robin is a Belgian-born, Australian-bred research associate at ICRAR/UWA with a passion for all things science and astronomy. Robin is currently undertaking a postdoctoral research position with the Deep Extragalactic VIsible Legacy Survey (DEVILS) at ICRAR/UWA.
Robin began studying astronomy at Curtin University in Perth, WA where he completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours majoring in Astrophysics. He then went on to complete a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Western Australia studying cold gas reservoirs in galaxies under the supervision of A/Prof Barbara Catinella, A/Prof Luca Cortese and A/Prof Aaron Robotham.
Alongside research, Robin is also very passionate about science outreach and education. He regularly visit schools all around Western Australia to share the excitement of astronomy to communities both near are far. As a regular volunteer at the Perth Observatory, he also showcases the beautiful Western Australian night sky to the public.
Interim Discipline Lead, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Curtin University
P: 08 9266 7951
David Bruce Davidson was born in London, UK, but grew up and was educated in South Africa. He received the B.Eng, B.Eng (Hons), and M.Eng degrees from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in 1982, 1983, and 1986 respectively, and the Ph.D. and D.Eng. degrees from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in 1991 and 2017 respectively.
David started work at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, from 1985-88. He spent much of his career at Stellenbosch University (from 1988-2017). From 2011-17, he held the SA SKA Research Chair at Stellenbosch; he was also a Distinguished Professor there, and is presently Professor Extraordinary. As of 2018, he joined Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia. He was Engineering Director: ICRAR from 2018-2022 and served on the ICRAR Executive. He is currently Interim Discipline Lead, Electrical and Computer Engineering at Curtin University, and continues to work on the ICRAR engineering program.
He has held a number of visiting appointments, including at the University of Arizona, Cambridge University, Delft University of Technology, and the University of Manchester. His main research interest through most of his career has been computational electromagnetics and his research contributed to leading commercial software. In recent years, his interests have expanded to include engineering electromagnetics for radio astronomy and much of his work since joining ICRAR has focussed on detailed electromagnetic simulations for SKA-Low stations.
Senior Research Fellow
P: 08 6488 7750
All about the galaxy life cycle
Dr Davies looks at galaxies of all shapes and sizes to compare those that existed in the early Universe to those that formed more recently.
Luke’s big research question at the moment is ‘do galaxies form more stars when they dramatically smash together?’
Research Specialisation: Galaxy evolution by comparing the stellar, dust and molecular gas components of star-forming systems in the early Universe.
I’m a postdoctoral research associate working on science with large-scale galaxy IFU surveys (SAMI, MaNGA). My main interest is galaxy morphology, and understanding why galaxies look the way they do. I use a combination of techniques, including stellar population analysis, and gas and stellar kinematic tracers.
I am a postdoctoral researcher at Curtin University interested in accreting compact objects. My research ranges from theoretical modelling of explosions on the surface of neutron stars, to observations of neutron stars and black holes in binary systems, to radio observations of stars being destroyed by supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies.
I am a keen advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM, and currently serve as the Chair of the ICRAR-Curtin development committee.
P: 08 9266 9178
New telescopes, the flat flat desert and supernova remnants.
Dr Natasha Hurley-Walker gets to play with the first data from a brand new telescope, one of the first of its kind.
She’s discovering new things, creating some stunning images, and seeing a part of outback Australia that not many people get to travel to.
Specialisation: MWA Imaging & Calibration
P: 08 9266 7461
Maria will be working on SKA station simulation and verification to support SKA bridging activities. Maria’s expertise is in antenna design and numerical optimization. She also has industrial experience in satellite communications and emergency radio beacons. Her teaching experience includes mathematics, electronics and antennas and propagation.
Senior Research Fellow and ASTRO 3D Fellow
P: 08 6488 3677
I am Research Assistant at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, in the University of Western Australia. I am in this position as an awardee of a Discovery Early Career Researcher. Before, I spent three years as a fellow at the European Southern Observatory. I was awarded my PhD from the Institute for computational cosmology in Durham University, in November 2012. My broad area of research is galaxy formation and evolution.
In 2014 I was recognised with a MERAC prize for the best European PhD Thesis in Theoretical Astrophysics in the years 2012 and 2013. Later in 2014, I was recognised in Chile as one of the `100 Women Leaders’ and one of the `100 Young Leaders’ of the country for my contributions to Astrophysics (see News). In 2016 I was recognised as the distinguished fellow of the year by the Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA.
Director (Australian SKA Regional Centre)
Dr Karen Lee-Waddell is the Director of the Australian SKA Regional Centre (AusSRC, https://aussrc.org), which is a partnership between CSIRO, Curtin University, the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, and the University of Western Australia. In this role, she is leading the Australian effort to build computing and data intensive research capabilities to support astronomers using current and next generation radio telescopes.
Karen is also currently the Project Scientist for WALLABY (https://wallaby-survey.org), the all-sky survey that aims to detect and image the gas distribution in hundreds of thousands of galaxies using CSIRO’s ASKAP telescope.
P: 08 9266 9169
Originally from the UK, I came to Aus in 2013 to do a PhD and never left. I’m a member of the MWA Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) team, who are trying to observe the Universe at the time when the first stars switched on.
I specialise in:
– EoR science
– Simulating radio interferometric responses, mostly what the MWA sees
– Modelling large complex galaxies like Fornax A using shapelets
– Using / writing GPU code to run simulations (I use a combination of python, C, and CUDA languages to write my software)
Example software packages I have written:
Honorary Research Fellow
Liz studied the X-ray properties of the black holes, jets and environments of radio galaxies during her PhD.
She now designs and builds outreach tools to allow members of the public to interact with scientific data or explain difficult astronomical concepts in an intuitive way, engaging new generations of would-be astronomers.
She is also a front-end web developer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Sydney, working on AAO node of the All-Sky Virtual Observatory (ASVO) project, which connects researchers to a wealth of theoretical and observational data from telescopes across the globe.
Specialisation: Web design & development. Graphic design.
P: 08 9266 3640
Areas of expertise & experience:
– Pulsar astronomy (emission physics, polarimetry, subpulse drifting)
– MWA high time resolution instrumentation
– Signal processing (polyphase filterbanks, tied-array beamforming)
– GPU acceleration (CUDA)
Active areas of research interest:
– Relativistic plasmas and coherent emission mechanisms
– Transient detection techniques
– Polarimetric calibration
Senior Principal Research Fellow
P: 08 6488 7728
I am an American/Australian Astronomer, working at the University of Western Australia’s node of the International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research.
From 1979 to 1983 I studied for my undergraduate BA degree at Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY, USA), and the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand). From 1984 to 1989, I studied for my PhD at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (it’s current name, then it was Mount Stromlo and Siding Springs Observatories) at the Australian National University.
From 1990, I held postdoctoral positions at the Anglo Australian Observatory (Australia), Universit’e de Montr’eal (Canada), The Space Telescope Science Institute (USA), and the Johns Hopkins University (USA). I continued at the Johns Hopkins University as a Research Scientist until the beginning of 2010. That is when I arrived back in Australia to take up my position as a Research Professor at the University of Western Australia.
ARC Future Fellow and Interim Head International Space Centre
P: 08 6488 7388
I am an astrophysicist at the UWA node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the Head of the International Space Centre. I currently hold a Future Fellowship of the Australian Research Council.
I was born and raised in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. After graduating in theoretical physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Lausanne, Switzerland) and the Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, US), I obtained my PhD in extragalactic astrophysics at the University of Oxford (UK) in 2009. Subsequently, I spent two years in the private industry before joining ICRAR/UWA as a faculty member in 2011.
I have a passion for many fields in modern physics, astrophysics and cosmology. My primary research focus lies in extragalactic astrophysics, using a combination of analytical, computational and observational tools. I am also passionately committed to experimental research in microgravity and have served as a mission specialist on over 450 parabolic flight manoeuvres aboard the Airbus zero-g with the European Space Agency ESA.
Privately, I enjoy a family life with three lovely boys.
Senior Principal Research Fellow
P: 08 6488 7630
I am a computational astrophysicist working on a broad range of problems in galaxy formation and cosmology. My particular interests are in dark matter – what is its nature? what kinds of observations will allow us to discriminate between alternative models? – and in how feedback from stars and black holes (i.e. deposition of energy and momentum into their surroundings) impact the formation and evolution of galaxies. Most of this work requires powerful supercomputers, and so I also have an ongoing interest in scientific high performance computing.
I obtained a BA in Theoretical Physics from Trinity College Dublin in 1999, and a PhD from Durham University in 2003. Between 2004 and 2011, I held postdoc positions in the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing in Melbourne (2004-07) and with the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the University of Leicester (2008-11). I have been at ICRAR/UWA since 2011, initially as a research assistant professor, as a research associate professor and ARC Future Fellow, and since 2021 as a research professor. Here at ICRAR/UWA, I lead the Computational Theory and Modelling Group, a team of approximately 20 staff, postdocs and students working on a variety of simulation, modelling, and statistical problems in galaxy formation and cosmology.
I am a Chief Investigator for the ARC CoE ASTRO 3D, and I hold a variety of advisory and oversight committee roles, with a particular interest in astronomical high performance computing.
Professor Peter Quinn was born in Australia and received his BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Wollongong in 1978. He conducted graduate studies in astronomy and astrophysics at the Australian National University and received his PhD in 1982 with a thesis dissertation on dynamics of disk galaxy mergers.
Since then Peter has worked at the California Institute of Technology, the NASA Space Telescope Science Institute and the Data Management and Operations Division at the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Munich. In December 2005, Peter was awarded a Western Australian Premier’s Fellowship and took of the position of Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Western Australia in August 2006. He was appointed Director of ICRAR in 2009.
Research Fellow (ASTRO 3D)
P: 08 6488 7570
Dr. Rhee’s research interest is galaxy evolution and cosmology using neutral hydrogen (HI) observation. He is now working on HI gas evolution out to z~1.0 using ASKAP DINGO and Parkes as well as HI spectral stacking and intensity mapping technique.
Principal Research Fellow
P: 08 6488 5564
I’m predominantly an observational astronomer, mostly working on the GAMA survey (both with redshift data and multi-band imaging). The main science I have been working on recent years has been focused on GAMA groups and close-pairs (which I constructed). I also dabble in simulations and semi-analytics, with a particular interest in mergers and intra-halo light at the moment.
My most recent research efforts have involved the development of a number of software packages that we use extensively within our group (and increasingly elsewhere). These are hyper.fit (hyper plane fitting), ProFit (2D galaxy modelling), ProFound (source extraction) and ProSpect (SED fitting). I supervise and collaborate with people on a number of related projects, so please get in touch if these interest you.
My main research interest is studying massive galaxies, focussing on their stellar population and stellar kinematics, in order to better understand how these very peculiar galaxies form and evolve. I have been looking at the internal structure of galaxies in the local Universe (in the SAMI Galaxy Survey) and I am now focussing on galaxies at z~0.3 (MAGPI survey), using Schwarzschild dynamical models.
Senior Research Fellow
P: 08 6488 7744
Expertise/Interests: Extragalactic radio sources, properties and statistics, particularly in the μJy and sub- μJy ranges; source confusion; galaxy evolution; large-scale structure; the cosmic radio background; the synchrotron cosmic web; cosmic magnetism; high-redshift source properties; radio surveys; astrostatistics; machine learning; data visualisation methods
Keen to supervise students with projects at honours, masters, and PhD levels. Please feel free to get in contact
Surveys/Collaborations: ASKAP EMU (Project Scientist); ASKAP POSSUM (science team co-lead); MWA GLEAMX; LOFAR Magnetism Key Science Project; SKA Pathfinders Radio Continuum Surveys working group (SPARCS, Chair)
PhD: University of British Columbia (2015)
P: 08 9266 9247
Randall is a radio astronomer with a background in computer science and electrical engineering. He has broad astrophysical interests ranging from dark matter through to the birth of the first stars and galaxies. He has technical expertise in radio telescope design, digital signal processing, high performance computing and radio engineering. He has been involved with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope since 2005 and led the science commissioning and GLEAM survey teams.
As a scientist with a technical background, Randall bridges the gap between the science and engineering communities and works on novel ways to use radio telescope instrumentation. More recently he has taken on leadership roles within the MWA collaboration and is the Project Scientist for the SKA-Low Aperture Array Design Consortium.
MWA Instrument Engineer – M&C
P: 08 9266 9474
My honours and PhD projects for UWA were mostly spent at Perth Observatory – I helped automate the 61cm telescope there, built the first digital camera in WA, and helped set up an automated supernova search. I then worked at Perth Observatory as a staff member from 1996-2013. My research there involved working with the PLANET and MiNDSTEp gravitational microlensing groups hunting for extrasolar planets. I started working on Monitor and Control software for the Murchison Widefield Array in 2008, and moved to Curtin in 2013, where I work as an instrumentation engineer, on the MWA and other projects.
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow
P: 08 6436 8602
-Physical processes that govern how galaxies form stars, grow supermassive black holes and evolve
-Multiwavelength observational astronomy
-Large radio continuum and atomic Hydrogen (HI) surveys
-Radio Galaxy Zoo (http://radio.galaxyzoo.org)
– Machine learning applications for future radio astronomy surveys