I’m Toby Brown, an astronomy PhD student at ICRAR.
My research focuses on the role of gas in the complex mash-up of physical processes that drive galaxy evolution.
I also talk about science on the side.
The 4-m Bianco Telescope, Chile.
Photograph: C Sánchez
I specialise in the analysis of large scale multi-wavelength samples of galaxies. In particular, I want to understand how the neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) gas reservoirs of galaxies are linked to star formation, structural and environmental properties of galaxies. I use 25,000 galaxies – the largest sample of HI data to date – and the powerful spectral stacking technique to provide the very first large-scale, statistical census of cold gas and environment for galaxies in the local Universe.
While my work is primarily observational, I maintain strong links with theory, having collaborated closely with leaders in the field to constrain the HI content of galaxies in cosmological models of galaxy formation.
Due to the statistical nature and methods of my work, I spend much of my time writing, developing and optimising bespoke software for data visualisation and analysis.
I am also a passionate science communicator and outreach enthusiast. When I’m not peering at the Universe I spend my time talking about it through radio, writing and award winning public talks!
I was a finalist of FameLab Australia, the international science communication competition presented by the British Council. Credit: British Council
Here’s a video of me talking about dark matter.
I’m happy to respond to media requests for interviews and expertise on astronomy or physics related topics, as well as matters of science funding and culture.
Previous credits included: ABC Radio National, ABC 720, ABC Melbourne, RTR-FM, Joy FM, 6EBA FM, Physics World, Guru Magazine, Institute of Physics magazine.
Get in Touch
The University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley
Western Australia, 6009
+61 (0)8 6488 7753
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