biography

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...

After years of research and working in universities, I'm really excited about forging a new path into the tech industry. Leaving academia has been a slow process; working in research has been truly fantastic, and I've had some amazing opportunities. But...

I moved back to Australia at a time when Melbourne's tech industry began thriving. The city has always been a hot-bed of creative talent and over the past few years it's become a bit of a Mecca for start-ups, and established tech companies looking to set up their Asia–Pacific HQ. Right now I'm really excited about the role of future technologies in scientific research and global health and development, the artificial–intelligence and machine-learning explosion, and Australia's emerging 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. An accompanying Facebook group – set up to kickstart productive discussions, has a membership of over 270 professional astronomers world-wide.

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

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

At ADASS XXVI, I spoke about building a community of tech savvy astronomers in the era of big-data & data-science. At Future Assembly, I spoke about data-driven discovery & the most ambitious telescopes ever built. As a result of these projects and my research career, I was invited to be a founding member of the new IAU Working Group for Data-driven Astronomy Outreach & Education .

I also work as a freelance astronomy & scientific computing consultant. I serve on Astronomy Australia Limited's Astronomy e-Research Advisory Committee and Computing Infrastructure Planning Working Group. I've also consulted for the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). Most recently I developed OzGrav's new website.

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.