Since September 2013, I've been working as a postdoc at the Space Telescope Science Institute with Roeland van der Marel as a member of the HSTPROMO collaboration. Before this, I spent three years as a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, working in the Dynamics group with Glenn van de Ven. I completed my PhD at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, under the supervision of Wyn Evans and Vasily Belokurov.
My research primarily uses kinematic data and dynamical models in order to investigate the properties, structure and formation history of galaxies and stellar clusters. The motions of stars in a cluster are sensitive to the mass of the cluster and this gives us a way of detecting "hidden" mass that we cannot see with telescopes; by modelling the kinematics, we can determine how much mass is present and where that mass is located. Galaxies form via mergers and accretions, the signatures of which remain coherent in velocity data for far longer than they do in spatial data, which makes kinematic data a very important tool for determining the present structure of galaxies and unravelling their formation histories. I have a particular interest in the denizens of the Local Group.
When I'm not being an astronomer, I enjoy ballroom and latin dancing.
- 17-22 January 2015
- Black holes in dense star clusters
- Aspen Center for Physics, Aspen, CO, USA