Exploring the Universe
The ultimate aim of my research is to bring us a step closer to understanding the complex processes which govern how galaxies form and evolve with time. I am particularly interested in radio galaxies - galaxies which spew powerful jets of very energetic particles from their centre - and the role they play in galaxy evolution. Find out more about radio galaxies and my research projects below.
A list of my academic publications can be found here.
All massive galaxies have a supermassive black hole, with a mass several millions times the mass of the Sun, at their centre. In most galaxies this central supermassive black hole remains dormant, but in some galaxies gas and dust is falling towards it, causing a large quantity of energy to be released. These extremely bright objects are known as “active galactic nuclei” (AGN), and 10-20% spew powerful jets of very energetic particles from their centre.
These jets can be millions of trillions of km in size (many thousands of times the size of the galaxy itself) and are visible at radio wavelengths. I am particularly interested in these radio jets, as the energy released is thought to have a profound effect on the host galaxies themselves, halting any star formation and expelling gas from the galaxy completely. I am involved in several projects exploring the properties of radio galaxies - read more below.
THE MIGHTEE SURVEY
MIGHTEE is a large radio survey currently underway with the MeerKAT telescope - located in South Africa, MeerKAT is the most powerful radio telescope in the Southern Hemisphere and a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array.
I co-chair the MIGHTEE continuum science working group, and am using the MIGHTEE data to investigate the accretion modes of radio galaxies.
To find out more about the MIGHTEE project please visit our website or get in touch.
THE 10C SURVEY
The Tenth Cambridge (10C) survey is a 15.7 GHz radio survey observed with the Arcminute Microkelvin Imager (AMI) telescope in Cambridge.
During my PhD at the University of Cambridge I used the 10C survey to investigate the faint, high-frequency radio sky. I also led a deeper extension to the 10C survey, and have continued to explore the high-frequency properties of radio galaxies during my postdocs. I have written seven research papers on this subject, details of which can be found on my publications page.
THE EUCLID MISSION
The Euclid satellite is currently under construction and aims to map the geometry of the universe to better understand dark energy and dark matter.
I am working with Prof. Lance Miller on modelling the point spread function for the Euclid mission.
THE VLA SURVEY OF STRIPE 82
Together with colleagues at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, I used a 100 square degree survey of Stripe 82 observed with the Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) by Heywood et al. (2016) to investigate the properties of radio galaxies. Details can be found on my publications page.
The header image on this page shows the Fornax A radio galaxy observed with the MeerKAT telescope. Image credit South African Radio Astronomy Observatory.