As a child I spent most summers holidaying at my grandparents’ caravan on South Coast of NSW. Upon nightfall, the caravan park was dark and sometimes eerie, and I often felt scared walking around after dark. I remember I would look at the stars and the milky-way to make me feel better. Whenever I looked up, I felt calm and was completely mesmerised. That’s where my passion for cosmology began.
As a cosmologist, I research the origin and evolution of the universe. Believe it or not, cosmology is a very data-rich field. I use a combination of maths and analysis of data from telescopes to study the cosmic microwave background – which is the oldest light in the universe. Analysing this data helps to understand what the universe was like immediately following the big bang, and to study the structure of the cosmic web, which describes the distribution of galaxies in space.
When I am not researching the universe, I love going to the theatre and the art gallery – whether it is to see an opera, the ballet, or a visiting exhibition. I love seeing the way in which other people experience the world. I think it helps keep me in touch with my own thoughts and experiences, and makes me very eager to study the universe.