Researcher biography

I am a Senior Research Fellow in Cosmology based in the School of Mathematics and Physics. I work on making maps of the positions and motions of millions of galaxies in our Universe to uncover how it has evolved since the Big Bang. Current observations suggest 95% of our Universe consists of ellusive Dark Matter and Dark Energy; we can detect these by the influence they have on the light from galaxies, stars and that permeates the background Universe itself, but they don't emit light themselves and we have no idea yet what they are. My research seeks to uncover these using the largest galaxy surveys in the world.

I have been involved in planning, carrying out, and analysing a large number of these surveys. I currently working groups in the American-led Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) project, the WALLABY survey based in Western Australia, and the 4MOST Hemisphere Survey (4HS) which will be carried out from Chile. Combined, these will produce the most detailed maps of galaxy positions and motions ever created --- over 40,000,000 unique galaxies!

My personal research makes use of state-of-the art computing techniques to simulate the distributions of these galaxies, their properties, and how fast they are moving. I then analyse these distributions using different statistical techniques and compare to the real data. The properties of Dark Matter and Dark Energy and all the other things that make up our Universe can then be extracted by modelling these statistics with theoretical models, or looking for discrepancies between the simulations and the data. My hope is that by doing so, we are currently on the cusp of uncovering something fundamental about how the Universe came to be the way it is today, and what will happen to it in the future.

Academic Background

  • Undergraduate: MPhys 1st Class Honours - University of Sussex, 2008-2012
  • Postgraduate: PhD - University of Portmouth, 2012-2016
  • Research Associate - University of Western Australia, 2015-2019
  • Research Fellow in Cosmology - University of Queensland, 2019-

Areas of research