biography

I'm an expert data analyst and data wrangler with 10+ years astrophysics research experience working at universities and national laboratories around the world; and 3+ years building capacity for data-intensive research; developing data policies, and strategies around HPC and storage requirements for data-intensive (“big data”) research projects, overseeing research infrastructure projects, contributing to high-level strategy, and providing data-science & tech skills training to researchers. 

I thrive on finding creative solutions to difficult, real world problems. I'm always challenging the status quo. I have a penchant for creating high-value, high-impact products from limited resources. I'm constantly looking for new opportunities, experiences and projects, in that hope that someday I'll be able to tackle any problem or challenge thrown at me.

I was born and raised in Melbourne by my artist mother and architect father. How they ended up with an astronomer for a daughter is anyone's guess, but then again astronomy is all about discovery and finding creative solutions to challenging scientific questions. After years of research and working in universities, I'm forging my own path into the tech industry, whether that be in Australia, Silicon Valley, New York or London!

Leaving academia has been a slow process for me. I remained involved in projects and I've served on high-level advisory committees even though I am no longer an active researcher. I moved back to Australia at a time when Melbourne's tech industry began thriving, and it's been really exciting to see how it's grown. The city has always been a hot-bed of creative talent and over the past few years it's become 'the tech capital of Australia' particularly for new start-ups (read more...) and established tech companies looking to set up their Asia–Pacific HQ. I'm super excited to see how future technologies will impact scientific research and improve global development projects, particularly those around health, fresh water sustainability and food security. Over the past year there has been a machine-learning and artificial–intelligence and explosion in Melbourne , and finally Australia will have a dedicated Space Agency to support its rapid growth in the space industry. There is a palpable buzz in air.

For the past two years I've been working on numerous data management and policy, and research strategy projects, with focus on building capacity in data-intensive research; mainly around scientific computing and "big-data" infrastructure (petabyte scale datasets). During my last 6 months at Swinburne I worked with the DVC (R&D) to establish a new University Institutes Model, which resulted in the establishment of several industry focussed Data Science, Health Tech, Social Innovation, Smart Cities, and Manufacturing Futures research institutes.

I'm currently working on a number of independent projects that bridge the gap between researchers and the technology industry. Last year I launched techsaavyastronomer.io, a website that aims to change attitudes around software and tools development in astronomy, and bringing elements of the tech industry to data–intensive research. It's also about empowering researchers and preparing for successful careers in tech. The website focuses on promoting best practises in scientific computing, data mining & visualisation, project management, machine learning, and astronomy based start–ups.

I also work with change makers as part of Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) Melbourne, an initiative that matches up organisations that have a social impact with skilled technologists who want to make a difference and to develop open-source solutions to the challenges facing society. I'm also a member of Girl Geek Academy, Data Science Melbourne, and the Convergence Science Network.

You can find me on Twitter. Various data analysis, visualisation, data science & web-development projects can be found on here and on GitHub. Selected talks can be found on Speaker Deck. Publications can be found on on ADS and Google Scholar. I try to keep this website up to date with my current projects. I also keep a blog called Chasing Telescopes where I write about research, new projects, data visualisation, hacking, future technologies, cool initiatives, and favourite documentaries. 


  

Looking towards the Annapurna Sanctuary. Near Tadapani, Nepal - January 2015

Looking towards the Annapurna Sanctuary.
Near Tadapani, Nepal - January 2015