I am a radio astronomer working on the Breakthrough Listen project with Berkeley SETI Research Center. In addition to working on the Breakthrough Listen science program and our observational strategy, I manage the outreach and education efforts for BSRC, including web, social media, and our undergraduate internship program.
I also work on wide-field radio surveys with next generation radio telescopes, searching for transient and variable radio sources as well as the signatures of supermassive black hole binaries and mergers. I am an associate member of the Murchison Widefield Array and NANOGrav collaborations, and an advisor to the Square Kilometer Array Transient Science Working group.
I helped conceive and implement the NOVAS high school program combining art and the maker movement with astronomy education, I am the founder and coordinator of the Science@Cal Lecture Series, and I have written material for the UC Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Evolution website, and for the Big History Project.
In my spare time I enjoy cooking, photography, hiking, camping, and travel. I live in Oakland with my wife Lori, an attorney, and our husky Laika.
I obtained my undergraduate degree in astrophysics from University College, London, and a DPhil (PhD) from the Subdepartment of Astrophysics at Oxford University, under the supervision of Steve Rawlings. After postdoctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory with Wil van Breugel and Bob Becker, I moved to Berkeley in 2007 to work with Geoff Bower. I currently work as a researcher on the Breakthrough Listen project.
Lead: Andrew Siemion
The Breakthrough Listen Initiative, sponsored by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, is the most powerful, comprehensive and intensive scientific search ever undertaken for signs of intelligent life beyond Earth. The project is using the Green Bank radio telescope in West Virginia, the Parkes Telescope in Australia and the MeerKat Array in South Africa to search for radio transmissions from advanced civilizations. In addition, the Automated Planet Finder at Lick Observatory is being used to search for optical laser transmissions from other technological civilizations. Additional partnerships with other international facilities, including FAST (China) and the Jodrell Bank Observatory (UK), extend the program’s observational reach.