Education: PhD in astrophysics from the High-energy Astrophysics Group, Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics, University of Adelaide, Australia. Thesis title : "Optical studies in high-energy astrophysics".
Research: the main topic for my thesis was CCD photometry of newly-discovered cataclysmic variable stars. The main targets were EUVE J1429-38.0 (a.k.a. Cen 2, V895 Cen); EUVE J2115-58.6 (a.k.a. RX J2115.7-5840, Ind 1, CD Ind) and AX J2315-59.6 (a.k.a. CP Tuc). As their names suggest, these were all new discoveries by high-energy astronomy satellites. The main aim of my research was to undertake extended optical photometry of these objects and to determine at least the basics of their optical photometric behaviour, for both short and long time-scales. The data obtained represent the first extended photometric data sets on these objects.
Others topics examined included photometry of several active galaxies for multi-site or multi-wavelength campaigns; medium-term extinction photometry at the observatory site at Woomera as site-testing during planning of the Auger project, and checks of two EUVE NOID (No Optical IDentification) fields via tri-colour imaging and time-series photometry.
During field trips for the work mentioned above, observations were undertaken for several Centre for Backyard Astrophysics campaigns on other cataclysmic variables; back-up photometry for the 1997 Triton stellar occultation event, and photo-electric photometry of the distribution of scattered moon-light.
Teaching: I have been involved, for some years, with the practical aspect of teaching the Department's first-year astronomy course. I have also supervised the practical aspects of a number of student projects (third-year and Master's), covering CCD imaging, quasar redshift spectroscopy, and determination of solar rotation. Current work involves the preparation of practical work suitable for the Department's new named degree in Astrophysics and Space Science.
Other interests: music has been a long-time hobby, having been involved with several choirs over the years, both large and small. I play keyboards- synths, organ, piano- and occasionally record my own material, but also very much enjoy playing once or twice a year in local nano-band Perestroika. Alas, one's jazz/beat/blues trio JazzClub is in forced recess at the moment, as our vocaliste has moved interstate. I also restore and archive old audio tapes, etc, on to CD for improved long-term storage and improved listening pleasure...
The excellent freeware Terragen and Pov-Ray have provided many hours of amusement recently. Although a rank amateur compared with some users out there, one may humbly suggest that the relevant images elsewhere on this site show that a near-novice may produce some not unpleasant results.
Painting, photography, cycling, eating, drinking, cooking- the usual suspects also rate favourably.