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My main area of research is Cosmology. In particular, I’m studying how the next generation of large radio telescopes, such as MeerKAT in South Africa and the future SKA will be able to answer fundamental questions in Cosmology, from the nature of dark energy or the physics of the primordial Universe to the process of Reionization when the first stars and galaxies of the Universe were born. This research involves both analytical models and large scale numerical simulations as well as a good understanding of the telescopes setup. The huge volumes of data that will be provided by these experiments also allow for unique and exciting ways to develop novel statistical analysis techniques.
Experiments in which I’m currently involved: MeerKAT, SKA, PAPER, LOFAR, ASKAP, APERTIF, EUCLID.
Professor Russ Taylor has extensive expertise in radio astronomy, in particular wide-field polarization, cosmic magnetism and Big Data, and has played a prominent role in the SKA project since its inception. He is interested in using MeerKAT to detect polarised signals from the low luminosity AGN and star forming galaxies as an initial step toward the SKA key science area of the evolution of cosmic magnetism.
Jarita Holbrook is an Associate Professor of Physics and part of the Astronomy and Cosmology Group at the University of the Western Cape. Her doctorate focused on star formation is in Astronomy & Astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
She is a leader in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Astronomy. She has done much to promote the study of African Indigenous Astronomy. Her research includes studies of astrophysicists, media, and science communication, for more info click here.
My main areas of research has been on the late stages of stellar structure and evolution, in particular Asymptotic Giant Branch stars, and stellar oscillations, both linear analysis and nonlinear simulation. I have also dabbled a bit in observational cosmology.
The SKA will look deeper into the Universe and further back in time than any other telescope before it. I hold an SKA Research Chair, and my research aims to use the power of the SKA pathfinders and the SKA to map the distribution of galaxies in the Universe. With these maps, we will be able to find out more about one of the biggest puzzles in modern physics – what is the nature of the Dark Energy that is forcing the Universe to expand faster and faster? Our model of the Universe is based on Einstein’s 1915 theory of General Relativity. This theory has been very successful in unlocking the secrets of the vast and ancient Universe. But perhaps Dark Energy does not exist – and instead, the acceleration of the Universe signals a breakdown of Einstein’s theory on very large scales? The SKA will give us the accuracy to test this possibility.
I am currently working to complete the Edinburgh-Cape blue object survey – a long-running
search for new very hot objects at high galactic latitudes – these are typically evolved
subdwarf and white dwarf stars, cataclysmic variables and peculiar stars. I am also interested
in pulsations in hot subdwarf and white dwarf stars and am monitoring period changes in eclipsing
hot subdwarf binaries which are possibly due to planets orbiting the very close binary systems.
I am currently a Professor in astrophysics at The University of Oxford. I am heavily involved in developing the science case for the next generation of radio telescopes such as the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) and the Square Kilometer Array. I also lead one of the six public surveys to be conducted on the new VISTA near-infrared telescope.