Dr Alan Duffy
Associate Professor Duffy is an astrophysicist at Swinburne University creating baby universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies like our Milky Way form and grow within vast halos of invisible dark matter. He is attempting to find this dark matter as part of SABRE, the world’s first dark matter detector in the Southern Hemisphere at the bottom of a gold mine in Stawell, Victoria.
Alan is also an Associate Investigator in two ARC Centres of Excellence investigating the origin of matter (ASTRO3D) and seeing the Universe with gravitational waves (OzGrav).
Most recently Alan presented two episodes of ABCs Catalyst and was a presenter on Stargazing Live produced by ABC/BBC. When not exploring simulated universes Alan lectures in physics as well as science communication at Swinburne University of Technology.
Dr Katie Mack
Dr Katie Mack is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies a range of questions in cosmology, the study of the universe from beginning to end. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster. Throughout her career she has studied dark matter, the early universe, galaxy formation, black holes, cosmic strings, and the ultimate fate of the cosmos. Alongside her academic research, she is an active science communicator and has been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, Slate, Sky & Telescope, Time.com, and Cosmos Magazine.
Dr Kendall Ackley
Dr Kendall Ackley has been a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration since 2012. She joined the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash in 2017 as part of the ARC Centre of Excellence (OzGrav) working on identifying optical counterparts to gravitational-wave events with the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) telescope. Her research interests include optimising follow-up studies for combined gravitational-wave and electromagnetic counterpart events, searches for gravitational waves from compact binaries, and finding astrophysical transients which may accompany gravitational-wave events discovered with LIGO.
Now in her last year of a PhD in School of Physics, University of Melbourne and OzGrav, mainly working on gravitational wave data analysis projects within the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration, especially searching for continuous-wave signals from spinning neutron stars. She received her Master’s Degree in Communication and Information Systems in Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China) and worked in IBM China System and Technology Lab before starting my PhD in mid 2014.