Stephanie Bernard is a third-year PhD student in the School of Physics at the University of Melbourne, in Australia. Her work focuses on galaxies during the epoch of reionisation, when the Universe was less than one billion years old. These galaxies are thought to contribute to the reionisation of the Universe, when the hydrogen in the Universe went from a neutral to an ionised state. Using imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, and follow-up observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope, Stephanie is looking for the very brightest, rarest galaxies during this time.
Stephanie received her BSc in physics from the University of Melbourne, and also received a concurrent diploma in Russian language. She then completed a MSc in physics, also from Melbourne, with thesis work on supernovae externally supervised at Swinburne University of Technology, also in Melbourne. She enjoys public outreach, and has worked with schools around Melbourne as a part of the Telescopes in Schools program, run by the Melbourne astrophysics group. Outside astronomy, she greatly enjoys film photography and knitting.
Molly Peeples (@astronomolly) is an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. She studies how galaxies change through time, with a focus on the origin and fate of the heavy elements, which has led her to a several year obsession over the extensive gaseous halos surrounding galaxies known as the circumgalactic medium. Molly considers herself a theorist, but is often found working closely with data and instruments, in an ongoing pursuit of getting fake data to look like real data. When she isn’t traveling, cooking, or hiking (and sometimes when she is), Molly also works on the Hubble Space Telescope and preparing for the WFIRST mission.
Anna Weigel (@annakweigel) is a third year Ph.D. student at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Her research focuses on the connection between galaxies and their black holes. Specifically she studies if and how active black holes might be shutting down star formation in their host galaxies. Instead of closely examining single objects, Anna is combining phenomenological and statistical approaches. This means looking for trends and correlations in the local galaxy population as a whole.
Anna received her B.S. in physics from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and then moved to Switzerland for her M.Sc. in physics at ETH. Before starting her Ph.D., she spent three months at the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing in beautiful Melbourne. Anna enjoys teaching, which is part of her Ph.D. student duties, and doing outreach. For example, building galaxies with kids has taught her that 7-year olds and glitter glue do not mix well. From time to time Anna also likes to visualise science in the form of delicious cakes.
Benne Holwerda is a postdoc at Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands working with Rychard Bouwens. He will be starting as an associate professor at the University of Louisville on January 1, 2017. Leiden Observatory has a rich hiistory in astronomy and today is a vibrant research facility in extra-galactic astronomy, astrochemistry and instrumentation.
Benne Holwerda works on galaxies, and their gas, dust and stars, in galaxies both near and far. He studies dust in galaxies using accidental overlapping (occulting) galaxies and gas using the MeerKAT Radio Telescope, under construction in South Africa (to be completed mid-2017). He works on the most distant galaxies with Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. He has worked at the Space Telescope Science Institute, the University of Cape Town, and the European Space Telescope.
You can find Benne most other weeks at @BenneHolwerda
I did my B.Sc. from the Fergusson College, Pune, India in 2010, M.Sc. in Physics from the University of Pune, Pune, India, with specialization in Quantum Field Theory. After that I went for PhD at the University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, as a part of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR). I recently completed my PhD in November 2015, and will soon start my first post-doc position at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic.
For my masters’ thesis, I worked on the modelling of the gas distribution in local dwarf galaxies and relating the star formation rates with the gas distribution. My PhD thesis was about the observations of the Galactic Center at 3 mm to study the flaring activity of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and the study of the stellar SiO maser sources in the central parsec region. My research interests include the Galactic Center region, the AGN-host relation & Evolution, Cosmic Archaeology, Formation of first objects in the Universe (First Stars, First Galaxies, First Black Holes), Radio Interferometry etc.
I am also fairly active in public outreach in India, where I have been involved with the Astro Club at the Fergusson College, Pune. Currently involved in activities related to improving science awareness among students in parts of rural India.
You can find me on Twitter at @