A/Prof Chris Lidman completed his PhD at the Australian National University in 1994, he currently is the director of Siding Spring Observatory. He was a member of one of the teams that shared the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics for discovering the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Prof Lidman also shared the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize and the 2014 Breakthrough Prize for this research. He is now leading the successful OzDES program at the Anglo-Australian Telescope, which is measuring the redshifts for very faint galaxies in which the Dark Energy Survey is finding distant supernovae.
Fred Watson has been Astronomer-in-Charge of the Australian Astronomical Observatory since 1995, but is best known for his radio and TV broadcasts, books, and other outreach programmes - including science tourism. Fred is a musician, too, with both a science-themed CD and an award-winning symphony libretto to his name. Fred was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010. He has an asteroid named after him (5691 Fredwatson), but says that if it hits the Earth, it won't be his fault.
Charley Lineweaver is the convener of the Australian National University’s Planetary Science Institute and holds a joint appointment as an associate professor in the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Research School of Earth Sciences. He was a member of the COBE satellite team that discovered the temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, and whilst he held post-doctoral positions at the University of New South Wales taught one of the most popular general studies courses “Are We Alone?” His research areas include cosmology, exoplanetology, astrobiology and evolutionary biology.
Kirsten Banks is a Physicist and a proud Wiradjuri woman with an undeniable passion for space and astronomy. She loves to share her passion with the universe and dreams of becoming a famous Science Communicator like Brian Cox. Kirsten has appeared on numerous radio stations such as ABC Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Triple J and Triple M, and has her own Astronomy podcast “The Skyentists” with co-host Dr Angel Lopez-Sanchez. Her academic research involves the role of Planets in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditions and she is really looking forward to starting research in the evolution of Galaxies and Galactic Archeology.
Nuria Lorente is a senior software and systems engineer at AAO-MQ. Her 25-year career has taken her around the world, from CSIRO's Australia Telescope National Facility, to Jodrell Bank Observatory and the Astronomy Technology Centre in the UK, ESO in Germany, and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in the USA. She has a wide range of experience in astronomical algorithms and software for both optical and radio observatories, and has particular interests in algorithms for object and path finding, data simulation, and the development of computing and software engineering within the astronomical community. Nuria has been fortunate to work on a number of interesting projects and instruments, including SAMI, ALMA, JWST/MIRI, VISTA, MERLIN and ATCA. She is currently leading the software effort on TAIPAN, the AAO's Starbug fibre positioner. More broadly Nuria is heavily involved in the international astronomy software community, and is currently serving as Chair of the standing program committee for the Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems (ADASS) conference series.
Matt Dodds is an Amateur Astronomer and the Education Officer for the Sydney University node of ASTRO 3D. He has a keen passion for Astronomy and Science Education and connecting people with the night sky. Having spent the better part of the last decade as a High School Science Teacher, Matt excels at inspiring students to follow their passions, ask questions and pursue their goals in Science related fields. Matt can often be found travelling around the country, sharing the eyepiece of his telescopes with school groups or the general public. He also presents various workshops to teacher and student groups such as the basics of spectroscopy, the scale of the solar system and how to build a telescope. One his long drives around Australia he loves listening to Astronomy podcasts such as "Space Nuts", "Cosmic Vertigo" and the "Exocast". He on both Instagram and Twitter @ScienceWithMat.