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Research

I currently do research in 3 fields: Astrophysics, Education and Inclusion.

If you’re a student looking to join my group, this section will give you a broad idea of the sorts of things I’m interested in, and of the types of projects that students have done under my supervision over the years. PhD applications are usually invited by the 1st of February of each year, for an August/September start of the same year. A list of projects I have on offer are online. If you’re an undergraduate student looking for research experience, you are welcome to contact me to discuss opportunities, funding and projects. Whilst I don’t expect you to have a well defined idea of a project, it will be useful if you could consider what area you would like to work on, in broad terms.

My list of publications can be retrieved from ADS (high completeness, lower purity) or from here (lower completeness, but high purity).

A list of talks and activities is here (not always complete, or up to date).

Astrophysics

I work in extragalactic science and observational cosmology. I am interested in understanding how galaxies form and evolve, particularly the role of large-scale structure and the cosmic web in that process. In the past, I have done work on galaxy spectral fitting, cosmic microwave background, large-scale structure and observational cosmology and occasionally I still like to think about those things. I feel most at home in large spectroscopic extragalactic survey collaborations, and I’m currently a member of SDSS-IV and DESI.

My work in this area is or has been funded by STFC, L’Oreal, and the University of St Andrews.

Current group members

Past group members

Education

I am interested in the role of current scientific research and data in effective and impactful classroom activities and professional learning for Physics teachers. My group and I develop classroom resources and teacher training workshops – typically around SDSS data – and work to measure their impact. Some of my work in this area is done in collaboration with Dr Paula Miles, from the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews. You can find a recent conference poster on some of that work here.

My work in this area is or has been funded by STFC, The Ogden Trust, SDSS and the University of St Andrews.

Current group members

Past group members

Inclusion

I have recently completed a Masters in Inclusive Education with the Open University. My dissertation was on “Power and vulnerability: (re-)examining undergraduate research experiences in Physics as instruments for social justice at a Scottish university.” My research interests are around critical pedagogy in STEM and HE, critical and academic literacies, the hidden curriculum, and attitudes and conceptualisations of inclusion by staff and students in HE.

I am a founding member and a current co-chair of the University’s Inclusive Practice Support Group.

I am also part of the University’s Race Equality Charter Self Assessment Team on “Curriculum”.

Links to essays/blog posts will appear here in due course.