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Sydney Institute for Astronomy

Cutting-edge theoretical and observational research
We are a leader in big data science with local and national supercomputing resources supporting simulations of cosmology, galaxy formation and evolution.

Our aims

Established within the School of Physics, the Sydney Institute for Astronomy (SIfA) is a national and international leader in astronomy and physics research. We are also committed to excellence in postgraduate training and research-led undergraduate training.

The University owns the:

  • Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST)
  • Square Kilometre Pathfinder (SKAMP)

The development and application of new technology for the next generation of instruments and telescopes is enabled through state-of-the-art Sydney Astrophotonic Instrumentation Laboratories (SAIL).

Our Institute has leadership or key involvement in several major surveys including the:

  • Kepler K2 survey
  • Galactic Archaeology (GALAH) survey of a million nearby stars
  • SAMI Galaxy Survey
  • OzDES galaxy survey
  • FLASH survey of radio galaxies
  • UTMOST survey of fast radio bursts.

The CAASTRO Centre of Excellence is housed within the School of Physics and engages about half of the students and staff within SIfA. Through our leading role in the Physics Equity and Access Committee (PEAC), we aim to provide an environment that is equitable and supportive for all staff and students, free of conscious and unconscious bias, with access to facilities, learning and work open to all.

Our people

Name Research Topic
Eromanga Adermann Cosmic Voids in Evolving and Interacting Dark Sector Cosmologies
Rebecca Brown Next generation 3D spectroscopy for the Anglo-Australian Telescope
Filip Chatys Period-luminosity relations of red giants and supergiants
Isabel Colman Asteroseismology using Kepler pixel data, with a focus on binary phenomena and red giants
Douglas Compton Asteroseismology of Red Giant Stars
Jason Drury Asteroseismology of Open Clusters: Ensembles and Kepler
Marcin Glowacki Study of HI Absorption Against Distant Radio Sources through ASKAP
Asger Gronnow The effect of the Galactic magnetic field on the accretion and survival of gas clouds
Daniel Hey Binaries and pulsating stars
Stuart Holwell  
Nikolas Iwanus Dark Matter Annihilation in Cosmological Simulations
Ben Jelliffee  
Apsem Jibrail The Growth of Angular Momentum in Non-Standard Cosmological Models
Shourya Khanna  
Alexey Latyshev Interferometric image recovery in astronomy
Gang Li Asteroseismology of gamma Doradus stars
Ralph Morgan High angular resolution imaging of Galactic microquasar SS 433 and various stellar objects
Angela Ng  
Harry Qiu Detection and classification of Fast Radio Bursts
Mohammad Rafat  
Katazhyna Redzikultsava Testing Non-Standard Cosmological Models With Supernova Data 
Kathy Ross  
Mathew Varidel  
Zhen Wan Galaxy Archeology
Troy Whinray  
Jie Yu Asteroseimology of 16,000 oscillating red giants observed by Kepler
Rai Yuen  
Andrew Zic  

Our events

Seminars are held weekly typically on Fridays at 11am to 12pm in LT5 at the School of Physics building (A28). If you wish to give a talk or presentation please email Nic Scott.

Unfortunately, we do not have general funds available to cover travel or accommodation costs. If you would like to give a talk or are scheduled at a time that you will be away please let us know ASAP. If you have students or visitors that are going to have interesting topics to talk about please dob them in. Let us know if you will be giving a long (45min) or short (20min) talk, so we can have either two short talks or one long talk each week.

Current Events

Date Time Speaker Title
May 31 11am LT5 Aman Khalid, Hillary Davis SSP Project student talks
Jun 7 11am LT5 Peter Cottrell                     

Interpreting stellar spectra or

The life of a spectroscopist

Jul 2  11am LT5 Alan McConnachie                              The Mauna Kea Spectroscopic Explorer
Jul 5 11am LT5 Guillaume Drouart TBC
Nov 1  11am LT5 Ortwin Gerhard & Magda Aenaboldi TBC

Past Events

Date Time Speaker Title
Jan 25 11am LT5 Lucia Armillotta Metal mixing during star cluster formation
Feb 1 11am LT5 Andrew Hopkins Measuring the stellar initial mass function
Feb 8 11am LT5 Matthew Baring A Multiwavelength Perspective on Acceleration and Radiation in Extragalactic Jets
Feb 15 11am LT5 Toshi Futamese Possible constraints on neutrino mass and dark energy from the lensing dispersion of the magnitude-redshift relation of Type Ia supernovae
Mar 1 11am LT5 Chris Tinney VELOCE
Mar 8 11am LT5 Ahmed Elagali Studies of Interacting Galaxies & the Environmental Effects on Their Evolution
Mar 15  11am LT5 Robert Jedicke Super catastrophic asteroid disruption
Mar 22 11am LT5 Jo Dawson Shining Light on the Dark ISM
Mar 29 11am LT5 Robert Jedicke Super catastrophic asteroid disruption
Apr 5 11am LT5 Maria Cunningham Radio Astronomy in the Era of Large surveys: Interpreting the results of large, multi-molecular-line datasets of the molecular ISM
Apr 9  11am LT5 Nicholas Martin Mining and mapping the first generations of stars with the Pristine CaH&K survey
Apr 12 11am LT5 Amelia Fraser-Mckelvie  The complicated lives of disk galaxies
May 3 11am LT5 Nichole Barry The Future of EoR Structure Limits
May 10 11am LT5 Nell Byler Ultraviolet spectral diagnostics for star forming galaxies at high redshift
May 16 11am LT5 Kim Venn Data Analysis and Machine Learning in Astrophysical Stellar Spectroscopic Surveys
May 17 11am LT5 Mahavir Sharma                Cosmic Reionization and its fossils in the Milky Way


Sydney Institute for Astronomy offers several courses for:

Do you still have questions?  Contact Joss Bland-Hawthorn


Profile shot of Professor Joss Bland Hawthorn
Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn
Academic profile

Contact us

  • +61 2 9351 7726
  • Physics Building Physics Road The University of Sydney Darlington 2006, NSW

Our location