Our people

Our people

The Macquarie University Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics has about 70 members including faculty, postdoctoral research fellows, postgraduate students, research associates and honorary associates. Macquarie University has recently acquired the lead node of the new Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO-MQ) which includes astronomical instrumentation design and construction as well as astronomical research. We are also in close proximity with CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (CASS).


Photo of Joanne Dawson

Dr Joanne Dawson

Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 8901

Dr Jo Dawson (BSc 1st class hons UCL, PhD Nagoya University) is a Senior Lecturer in Astronomy and Astrophysics and current ARC DECRA Fellow. She was previously an ARC Super Science Fellow at the University of Tasmania, a Bolton Fellow at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (CASS), and held a joint Le… View full profile

Photo of Richard de Grijs

Richard de Grijs


Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Phone: +61 2 9850 8317

Richard de Grijs obtained his PhD from the University of Groningen (Netherlands) in 1997, and held two postdoctoral positions (at the University of Virginia, USA, and the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK), before being appointed to a permanent post at the University of Sheffield (… View full profile

Photo of Orsola De Marco

Orsola De Marco


Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 4241

 I am an Astrophysicists working on theory and observations of old stars and stars that interact with one another, generating outbursts and all manner of Astrophysical complexity. For furher infomration regarding my research, including projects and publications, please visit my research pages… View full profile

Photo of David W. Coutts

David W. Coutts


Department of Physics and Astronomy, Faculty of Science and Engineering, MQ Photonics Research Centre

Phone: +61 2 9850 8970

I am the Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Science and Engineeringa. From 2016-2018 I was the Director of the MQ Photonics Research Centre. From 2009 to 2012 I was Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. I am a member of the Optical Society of America and the Australian Optical Soci… View full profile

Photo of Devika Kotachery

Dr Devika Kotachery

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 8978
Photo of Richard McDermid

Dr Richard McDermid

Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 4476
Photo of Matt Owers

Dr Matt Owers

Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 8910

Dr Matt Owers (B.Sc. (Advanced Physics, hons. class I) University of Wollongong 2003, Ph.D University of New South Wales 2008)  is a Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Macquarie. Previously, he was a Super Science Fellow at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (2011-2014), and a postdoctoral re… View full profile

Photo of Cormac Purcell

Dr Cormac Purcell

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 8904

I am a researcher and lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. I specialise in using radio telescopes to investigate the interstellar medium, with a focus on magnetism and star-formation in the Milky Way.I am particularly interested in using st… View full profile

Photo of Christian Schwab

Dr Christian Schwab

Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 6288
Photo of Lee Spitler

Dr Lee Spitler

Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 4161
Photo of Mark Wardle

Mark Wardle


Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 8909
Photo of Daniel Zucker

Daniel Zucker

Associate Professor

Centre in Astronomy, Astrophysics & Astrophotonics, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 4442

Postdoctoral Fellows

Photo of Samyaday Choudhury

Dr Samyaday Choudhury

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 9238
Photo of Tobias Feger

Dr Tobias Feger

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 4289
Photo of Birendra Pandey

Dr Birendra Pandey

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Phone: +61 2 9850 6373

Postgraduate Students

NameCurrent research projectSupervisor
Theodore Anagnos, MRes Student
Using astrophotonics to design new components for future telescopesChristian Schwab

Jaime Andrés Alvarado Montes, MRes Student                                                         jaime-andres.alvarado-montes@hdr.mq.edu.au

Detecting exoplanets with the Huntsman Telephoto ArrayChristian Schwab

Christina Baldwin, PhD Student christina.baldwin@students.mq.edu.au

Stellar populations of massive galaxiesRichard McDermid

Stefania Barsanti, PhD student     stefania.barsanti@students.mq.edu.au

Investigating the Reason of Star Formation Quenching in Galaxy GroupsMatt Owers

Taylah Beard, MRes Student taylah.beard@students.mq.edu.au

Gone with the wind: Searching for signatures of gas removal in environmentally perturbed galaxiesMatt Owers

Sarah Caddy, MRes Student sarah.caddy@students.mq.edu.au

Uncovering the Cosmic Infrared Background with SkyHopper, Australia's first Space TelescopeLee Spitler

Caro Derkenne,MRes student  caro.derkenne@students.mq.edu.au

Total density slopes of early-type galaxies through cosmic timeRichard McDermid
Dylan Bollen, PhD Student       dylan.bollen@mq.edu.auJet creation and accretion in evolved binary systems Devika Kamath
Tiffany Day, PhD Student tiffany.day@students.mq.edu.auMajor cluster mergers as drivers of galaxy transformation and evolutionMatt Owers

Danica Draskovic, PhD student   danica.draskovic@students.mq.edu.au

Discovery and Multi-wavelength Study of Planetary Nebulae and Other Emission Objects in the Small Magellanic CloudMark Wardle
Amir Ebadati-Bazkiaei, PhD student          amir.ebadati-bazkiaei@students.mq.edu.auThe Huntsman Telephoto Array: ultra-faint imaging of galaxiesLee Spitler
Wilfred Gee, PhD Student   wilfred.gee@students.mq.edu.auConstraining Populations of Neptune-Mass Planets Around Early M-Class StarsChristian Schwab
Greg Goldstein, PhD Student
The Distribution of Star Formation in the SAMI Galaxy Survey: The Implications for Quenching Mechanisms and Galaxy EvolutionRichard McDermid

Shalmalee Kapse, PhD Student shalmalee.kapse@students.mq.edu.au

Stellar Population Characteristics in the Magellanic CloudsRichard de Grijs
Blaise-Anthony Kuo-Tiong, MRes Student blaise-anthony.kuo-tiong@hdr.mq.edu.au  Ultra-stable infrared spectrograph to search for earth-like planetsTBA
Fergus Longbottom, PhD student     fergus.longbottom@hdr.mq.edu.au Using the Huntsman Array and the Hyper Suprime Cam to investigate the mystery of the missing satellitesLee Spitler
Lachlan Marnoch, MRes Student lachlan.marnoch@students.mq.edu.au 
Testing fast radio burst host galaxies for supernovae
Stuart Ryder
Tash Marshall, MRes Student natasha.mcfadden@students.mq.edu.auSwish-Mapping H1 Clouds in the Galactic HaloJoanne Dawson
Tommy Marshman, MRes Student tommy.marshman@students.mq.edu.auApplying a GPU based pulsar searching pipeline on a new Parkes Galactic Plane surveyJoanne Dawson
Stephen McAndrew, PhD Student stephen.mcandrew@mq.edu.auTBA Mark Wardle
Chikaedu Ogbodo, PhD Student chikaedu.ogbodo@hdr.mq.edu.auMapping the Galactic Magnetic Field With MasersJoanne Dawson
Anita Petzler, PhD Student anita.petzler@students.mq.edu.auHydroxyl: Unrevelinig The Mysteries Of The Dark Galactic ISMJoanne Dawson
Adriano Poci, PhD Student adriano.poci@students.mq.edu.auThe Stellar Initial Mass Function and Total Mass-Density Profiles of Galaxies in the SAMI SurveyRichard McDermid
Thomas Reichardt, PhD Student thomas.reichardt@students.mq.edu.au Hydrodynamic Simulations of Common Envelope BinariesOrsola De Marco
James Tocknell, PhD Student james.tocknell@mq.edu.auJets and Outflows from Protoplanetary DisksMark Wardle
Dmytro Rogozin, PhD Student   dmytro.rogozin@kuleuven.beRubidium-locked etalons as wavelength reference for astronomical Doppler spectrographsChristian Schwab
Shane Vickers, PhD Student shane.vickers@mq.edu.auA window into late-stage stellar evolutionMatt Owers
Blake Staples, MRes Student blake.staples@students.mq.edu.auStability of molecular clouds in the interstellar mediumMark Wardle
Hiep Van Nguyen, PhD Student           van-hiep.nguyen@students.mq.edu.auShining Light on the Dark Milky Way: Probing our Galaxy’s Hidden GasJoanne Dawson

Honorary Associates

Roy Allen Retired roy.allen@mq.edu.au E7A 322
Jeremy Bailey University of New South Wales j.bailey@unsw.edu.au UNSW
Joao Bento ANU joao.bento@mq.edu.auANU
Mike Ireland Future Fellow - ANU michael.ireland@mq.edu.au ANU
Borja Anguiano JimenezHonorary Associateborja.anguiano@mq.edu.au 
Alan Vaughan Retired alan.vaughan@mq.edu.au E7A 322


Erik KoolPhD Student - 2019
Tui BrittonPhD Student - 2018
Bronwyn ReichardtMRes Student - 2018
Guravinder PamarMRes Studnet - 2018
Glen ReesPhD Student - 2017
Daniel McDonald PhD Student - 2017
Colin Navin PhD Student - TBC
Michael Cowley PhD Student - TBC
Wilfred Gee MRes Student - 2016
Andrew LehmannPhD Student - 2016
Roberto Iaconi PhD Student - 2016
Andreas Herzog PhD Stduent - 2016
Charles Cosgrove MRes Student - 2016
Carlos Bacigalupo PhD Student - 2016
Eric Howard PhD Student - 2015
Travis Stenborg PhD Student – 2015
Thomas Reichardt MRes Student - 2015
Adriano Poci
MRes Student - 2015
Sarah (Traine) Keith PhD Student – 2015
Niyas Madappattu Alikutty PhD Student - 2014
Nick Cvetojevic PhD Student – 2014
Ashkbiz Danehkar PhD Student – 2014
Dimitri Douchin PhD Student – 2014
Michael Fitzgerald PhD Student – 2014
David Gardner MRes Student – 2014
Elaina Hyde PhD Student -2014
Rajika (Reggie) Kuruwita MRes Student – 2014
Izabela Spaleniak PhD Student – 2014
Aaron Rizzuto PhD Student – 2014
Arik Mitschang PhD Student – 2014
Stacey Bright PhD Student – 2013
Anthony Conn PhD Student – 2013
Geraldine Marien MPhil Student – 2012
Richard Baxter MPhil Student – 2012
Nemanja Jovanovic PhD Student, PostDoc – 2012
Catherine Braiding PhD Student – 2011
Sarah Chamberlain PhD Student – 2011
Kyle DePew PhD Student  – 2011
Korinne McDonnell PhD Student – 2011
Duane Hamacher PhD Student – 2011
Andreas Ritter PhD Student – 2011
Anna Kovacevic PhD Student – 2011
Madusha Gunawardhana BSc(Hons) Student  – 2010
Andrew Smith MPhil Student – 2010
Brent Miszalski PhD Student – 2010
Ivan Bojiic PhD - 2009; Postdoc 2010-2014 (ARC SSF); IT specialist 2014-2015
David Frew PhD - 2008; Postdoc (MURF) 2010-2014
Daniel Cotton PhD Student (Adjunct) – 2008
John Ching BSc(Hons) Student – 2008
Milorad Stupar PhD - 2007; Postdoc 2007-2013 (Space to Grow and AAO)
Warren Reid PhD - 2007; Postdoc (MURF) 2007-2015
Rachel Moody PostDoc Student – 2006
Raquel Salmeron BSc(Hons) Student – 2006
Alan Peyaud PhD Student – 2005, PostDoc – 2009
Mark Pierce PhD Student – 2005
Shane Hengst BSc(Hons) Student – 2005
Daniel Hobbs BSc(Hons) Student  – 2004
Angela Mabee BSc(Hons) Student – 2004
Lesa Moore BSc(Hons) Student – 2003, MPhil – 2008

Association for Astronomy Staff

Orsola De Marco Director orsola.demarco@mq.edu.au E6B 2.706
Adam Joyce Observatory Technical Officer adam.joyce@mq.edu.au E7B 214
Emma Hastings Administrator & Manager starinfo@mq.edu.au E6B 2.601

Administrative Staff

Name Position Email Location
Anne-Laurence Bibost Research Centre Administrator a.bibost@mq.edu.au E6B 2.613

Equity and diversity at MQAAAstro

MQAAAstro is committed to providing a safe and equitable workplace where all our members can flourish, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability and sexual preference. This commitment has been recognised with the awarding of a Silver Pleiades Award, alongside the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The Pleiades Awards recognise organisations in Australian astronomy encouraging full participation of women at all levels of professional life through the implementation of gender-friendly practices.

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