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Currently, I am in the first year of my Astronomy PhD at the Curtin node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth. Here I work under supervision of Dr. Cathryn Trott and Dr. Randall Wayth within the EoR group, which consists of researchers focusing on the use of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) to detect the 21 cm signal of neutral hydrogen during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR).  This is a period in the very early Universe in which the first luminous objects start to light up the dark Universe, studying this epoch will allow 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. 

Research


My research project will revolve around the use of non-traditional radio interferometers to probe the weak signals from the EoR. I will study the use and benefits of combining different antennas from different arrays and whether this provides unique information compared to traditional arrays. However, 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 like to employ a combination 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 Evolving Universe research theme of CAASTRO, the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics, and also aims to contribute input to the EoR and Cosmic Dawn key science project for the Square Kilometre Array.

Background


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.

ICRAR Statement

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