Currently, I am in the final year of my Astrophysics PhD at the Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth.
I work with A/Prof. Dr. Cathryn Trott and A/Prof. Dr. Randall Wayth on the calibration of low frequency radio telescopes within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) group. The EoR group uses the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) to detect the 21 cm signal of neutral hydrogen from the Epoch of Reionisation; a period in the very early Universe in which the first luminous objects start to light up the dark Universe. Studying this time allows us to determine the nature of those very first objects out of which the next generations of stars and galaxies including our own Sun and Milky Way were formed.
My research project revolves around the calibration of radio interferometers probing the weak signals from the EoR. I study the use and benefits of combining different antennas from different arrays and whether this provides unique information compared to traditional homogeneous arrays. At the moment I am working on the application possibilities of redundant calibration on the MWA Phase II, a partially redundant phased array. To do so I employ a combination of analytical methods and numerical modeling based on our understanding of radio interferometry to predict and quantify the behaviour of the array. But ultimately I want to compare this to the actual performance during observations to see whether our understanding is actually correct. This project is also part of The Origin of the Ionised Universe research theme of ASTRO 3D the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics in 3D, and also aims to contribute input to the EoR and Cosmic Dawn key science project for the Square Kilometre Array.
I was born and raised in the Netherlands, a country which is also heavily invested in radio astronomy because the weather is not so sunny as here in Perth. I finished my Bachelor in Astronomy under supervision of Prof. Dr. Leon Koopmans at the Kapteyn Institute in Groningen and my Master in Astronomy under supervision of Prof. Dr. Huub Rottgering at the Leiden Observatory in Leiden. While working and studying with the LOFAR groups at both insitutes I developed a keen interest in the workings of radio interferometry, the next generation of radio telescopes and the mysteries hiding in the Epoch of Reionization.
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