I am the Laureate Postdoctoral Astronomer at Swinburne University of Technology working on enabling science in the era of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for the Australian community with Dist. Prof. Karl Glazebrook. I am the Australian point of contact for JWST user support and actively lead developing astronomical/computational techniques to enable efficient scientific use of the JWST data by the Australian community through the JWST Australian Data Centre. I investigate galaxy formation and evolution mechanisms by combining deep observations of the early Universe and novel theoretical models. I am an expert in ground and space based observational astronomy, theoretical stellar populations models, and actively engage in machine learning and data science applications in astrophysics research.
I worked at the Leiden observatory as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Rychard Bouwens' and Prof. Jarle Brinchmann's research teams focusing on the spectroscopic study of galaxy properties at z>2. I am a competent VLT/MUSE, KECK/MOSFIRE user and have expertise in using SED fitting techniques, and synthetic stellar population/photo-ionisation models to study and constrain galaxy properties in the high-z universe. I am a member of the MUSE consortium, ZFOURGE, and ZFIRE teams. I have also participated in the Deeper-Wider-Faster survey.
PhD: For my thesis I used the MOSFIRE spectrograph in the KECK telescope
along with deep imaging from FourStar in Magellan telescope to study galaxies at z~2.
I focus on investigating how the initial mass functions of
galaxies are different at z~2 compared to the local populations and
the role of environment in determining galaxy evolution properties.
I further studied the effects of dust on galaxy spectra at these redshifts.
Institute: Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Supervisor: Prof. Karl Glazebrook
Co-supervisors: Dr. Glenn Kacprzak & Dr. Deanne Fisher
Undergraduate: University of Liverpool and
Liverpool John Moores University, UK (MPhys in Astrophysics).
Dissertation on "Compact Massive Galaxy studies in the lower Redshift range from GAMA data" with supervision by Prof. Ivan Baldry .
The James Webb Australian Data Centre
Mauna Kea summit overlooking the Keck observatory
MUSE Consortium busy week in Chania, Greece 2018.
ZFOURGE team at the 2013 workshop at Cooks' Branch, Texas.
Me and fellow ZFIRE/ZFOURGE team member Caroline in front of Keck-I
ZFIRE team at the 2015 workshop in Barossa valley, South Australia.
Conferences and Workshops
|February 2020||Contributed Talk|
Revolutionary Spectroscopy of Today as a Springboard to Webb
|October 2019||Contributed Talk|
Uncovering early galaxy evolution in the ALMA and JWST era,
|June 2019||Contributed Talk|
|February 2019||Contributed Talk|
|November 2018||Contributed Talk|
|September 2018||Contributed Talk|
Early Science with ELTs (IAU Symposium 347),
|August 2018||Contributed Talk|
Division J: Galaxies and Cosmology, IAU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria.
|August 2018||Contributed Talk|
Characterizing Galaxies with Spectroscopy with a view for JWST, Lorentz Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.
|October 2017||Contributed Talk|
A Decade of the Star-Forming Main Sequence, Lorentz Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.
|September 2017||Contributed Talk|
From Field to Clusters: HI as a tracer of galaxy evolution.
The Universal Problem of the Non-Universal IMF.
|December 2016||Contributed Talk|
The Changing Face of Galaxies.
Australian Astronomical Society Annual
|July 2016||Contributed Talk|
ITSO Observational Techniques Workshop 2016, Sydney, Australia.
|May 2016||Invited Talk|
Research Bazaar 2016, Melbourne, Australia.
|August 2015||Contributed talk|
|Australian Astronomical Society Annual
Scientific Meeting 2015, Fremantle, Australia.
|July 2015||Contributed talk|
|The 2015 Australian Gemini, Magellan,
and Keck Science Symposium, Sydney, Australia.
|June 2015||Contributed talk|
|Massive galaxies workshop, Sydney, Australia.||February 2015||N/A|
|Australian Astronomical Society Annual
Scientific Meeting 2013, Melbourne, Australia.
|The Harley Wood winter school 2013, Philip Island, Australia.||July 2013||N/A|
|Teaching and Learning conference, Liverpool, UK.||July 2011||Poster|
|Outreach conference, Nottingham, UK.||July 2010||N/A|
|Geneva Observatory, Switzerland.||March 2019|
|University of Concepcion, Concepcion.||April 2018|
|Melbourne University, Melbourne.||February 2017|
|Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.||February 2017|
|University of Sydney, Sydney.||February 2017|
|University of New South Wales, Sydney .||February 2017|
|CSIRO, Sydney.||February 2017|
|Australian Astronomical Observatory, Sydney.||February 2017|
|Heidelberg University, Heidelberg.||December 2016|
|Leiden University, Leiden.||December 2016|
|Monash University, Melbourne.||October 2016|
|Macquarie University, Sydney.||October 2016|
|University of Sydney, Sydney.||October 2016|
|Australian Astronomical Observatory, Sydney.||October 2016|
|ICRAR/University of Western Australia, Perth.||September 2016|
|Australian National University, Canberra.||September 2016|
|University of Melbourne, Melbourne.||August 2016|
|Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.||August 2016|
- VLT UT4: MUSE - 7.5 nights
- Keck I: MOSFIRE - 20 nights
I have supervised students from high-school to Masters level and am a lecturer for undergradute physics module. Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to involve in many teaching and lab demonstrating opportunities. I have also been involved in multiple programs aimed at developing educational materials at various levels. Some of them include:
- Lecturer, Modern Astronomical Research and Communication Leiden University, 2nd year Astronomy BSc Course, 2019.
- Invited Lecturer, Astronomy Twinning Program: Leiden Observatory and the University of Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia, 2018. Lecture Notes can be found here and video here
- Teaching Assistant, lab demonstrator, and online moderator for two undergraduate courses at Swinburne University, Australia: From stars to black holes (2016), Introduction to E-Science (2014-2016), and Energy & Motion (2014-2016).
- Developed open education resources for use by schools throughout the UK for science workshops: Summer 2011
- Made new first and second year practical experiments for undergraduate physics students at University of Liverpool, UK: Summer 2011.
- High School physics teacher, Gateway College, Sri Lanka: 2012-2013
- Student Tutor for the National Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad team at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka-2010.
One of my main non-research interests lie in science outreach activities. I am a member of the organizing team of
Astronomy of Tap, Leiden
I was also a founding member of the
Physics outreach group at University of Liverpool (President 2011-2012)
Universities of Liverpool Astronomical Society (Vice-president 2010-2011).
Apart from the activities of the above organizations, I have also volunteered in multiple outreach activities, some of which I have listed below.
- Astronomy on Tap Leiden, The Netherlands: January 2019 talk
- Swinburne Astronomy Public Lecture, Australia: April 2017 talk
- Astronomical Society of Victoria, Australia: April 2015 talk
- In2Science mentor for Hawthorn Secondary College, Australia: 2013
- Mentor for the residential physics workshop Extreme Physics NW, UK: 2011-2012
- Liverpool International Physics Olympics, UK: 2008-2011
- Peer mentor and IOP (UK) Big Bang Blog mentor: 2010-2011
I like to take suitable opportunities to involve in organizing events and serve as a representative in university/faculty committees. Some of my roles include:
- Technical secretary, Swinburne Keck telescope time allocation committee: 2020 – to date.
- Member of International Astronomical Union Executive Committee Working Group Junior Members: 2018-to present
- Organizer, Leiden observatory lunch seminar series: 2017 -to 2019
- Organizer, Galaxies journal club, Leiden observatory: 2017– 2019
- Student representative for the Centre of Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, Australia: 2015
- Co-student event organizer for the Centre of Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University, Australia: 2014
- Student representative for the student staff liaison committee, Department of Physics, University of Liverpool, UK: 2009-2012
- Student representative for the Board of Studies in Physics, Department of Physics, University of Liverpool, UK 2011 - 2012
- President of the University of Liverpool Physics outreach group, UK: 2011 - 2012
- Secretary of the University of Liverpool Sri Lankan Society, UK: 2011 - 2012
- Liverpool Ambassador Home/EU, University of Liverpool, UK: 2011 -2012
- Student representative for the Faculty of Science and Engineering Academic Standard Committee at University of Liverpool, UK: 2010-2011
- Vice President of the Universities of Liverpool Astronomical Society, UK: 2010-2011
I have an interest in data science and programming.
- I've developed the visualization platforms for the #BeatCovid19Now symptom tracker.
- I've worked at the Centre for Transformative Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne as a part time data scientist. My main role involved data cleaning of the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database.
- People's choice award at the Unearthed Melbourne 2017 Hackathon sponsored by Newcrest Mining.
- I've participated in Random Hacks of Kindness, Australia. This is a not for profit local group that is part of a global movement of technologists who are hacking for good to aid local charities etc.
- I've also participated in the Unearthed Digital Tribes competition.
Trying the Didgeridoo in Uluru, Graduation in Liverpool and, Valley of the winds.
Wine in Barossa Valley, Sydney Vivid festival, and College Station pub.
Cricket in Colombo, Australian open, and Hapuna Bay.
Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, 1 Alfred Street, Hawthorn, Australia.
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