Dr Daniel Cotton is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia. Hi primary research is in the areas of planetary atmospheres and stellar polarimetry. He is part of the team that built and operates the HIPPI polarimeter, the most sensitive blue-optical stellar polarimeter in the world. HIPPI is being used for many areas of research, the most high profile of which is searching for signals of light scattered from exoplanet atmospheres.
Daniel had an unusual route into astronomy, gaining a PhD in the area of surface physics and nanotechnology at the University of Newcastle (Australia) before deciding to switch fields. He has worked in a wide range of areas including surface and polymer chemistry, photonics, nanolithography, space and terrestrial weather, planetary atmospheres, space science and instrumentation, and now stellar polarimetry. He also has an interest in gender issues and is a member of UNSW’s Athena Swan Self Assessment Team.
Away from academia Daniel is a published writer of short science fiction and poetry. He is also a keen sportsman, and was an Australian national champion in the sport of radio control car racing, and also an administrator at club and national level.