Research

Research

The Macquarie University Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Astrophotonics (MQAAAstro) grew out of our  Concentration of Research Excellence (CORE) and is now one of the largest and fastest growing astronomy groups in Australia. We are a highly active centre of astronomical research excellence. We have close ties to the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (CASS), both of which are close to campus. These relationships contribute to the vibrant research environment of the Centre, and offer many opportunities for collaborations in observational astronomy, theoretical astrophysics, astrophotonics, instrumentation, education, and cultural astronomy. Explore below for current research, collaborations, and available projects.

View a full list of departmental publications on ADS.

View a list of PhD Scholarship Projects that are currently offered.

Observational Astronomy

Observational Astronomy

Strengths: Wide-field astronomical surveys; optical/IR studies of planetary nebulae, supernova remnants, stellar populations and proper motions, galactic dynamics, structure, and evolution; radio and millimeter studies of masers and planet/star formation. AAAstro has close ties with the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) that operates the 4m AAT at Siding Spring Observatory and CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (CASS) which operates several radio telescopes across NSW/ACT and Australia.

Faculty: Joanne DawsonOrsola De Marco, Richard McDermid, Matt Owers , Lee SpitlerMark Wardle and Dan Zucker.

Scholarships: PhD and Summer Vacation scholarships are available for projects in observational astronomy. Please visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy research page for more information.

Theoretical Astrophysics

Strengths: Theoretical studies of physical and dynamical processes in the interstellar medium; magnetohydrodynamics; star and planet formation; protoplanetary discs; the Galactic Centre; galactic dark matter, and black holes; star-star and star-planet interactions; population studies.

Faculty: Mark WardleOrsola De Marco.

Scholarships: PhD and Summer Vacation scholarships are available for projects in theoretical astrophysics. Please visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy research page for more information.

Astrophotonics & Instrumentation

Strengths: Optical interferometry, diffraction-limited high-contrast imaging, integrated photonic and single-mode spectrographs, Fibre Bragg gratings, astronomical applications of direct laser write waveguides, smart focal plane technologies.

Faculty: Christian Schwab

Scholarships: PhD and Summer Vacation scholarships are available for projects in astrophotonics. Please visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy research page for more information.

Science Education

Strengths: The ‘Space to Grow’ Project – improving science engagement in schools using the Faulkes telescopes.

Faculty: Carolyn Dow (Project Manager) and John Hedberg (School of Education).

Scholarships: PhD and Summer Vacation scholarships are available for projects in science education. Please visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy research page for more information.

Aboriginal Astronomy

Strengths: The Aboriginal Astronomy Project – Exploring the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Indigenous Australians in close collaboration with the Department of Indigenous Studies. Disciplines include archaeoastronomy, ethnoastronomy, historical astronomy, geomythology, and Indigenous knowledge. Click here for the project blog.

Faculty: Ray Norris (CASS/Indigenous Studies).

Scholarships: PhD and Summer Vacation scholarships may be available for projects in Aboriginal Astronomy. Please visit the Department of Physics and Astronomy research page for more information.

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