New postdoctoral fellows

Kate Brooks – Bolton postdoctoral fellow

We look forward to the arrival, later this year, of Kate Brooks. Kate has had a long association with the ATNF having first joined as a summer vacation student in December 1993. In September 2000 she completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales and moved to Chile to take up a three-year fellowship with the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Her main role there was supporting two state-of-the-art infrared instruments at the La Silla Observatory. For the third year of her fellowship Kate held a postdoctoral research position at the University of Chile to work in the field of massive star-formation. With her Bolton Fellowship she looks forward to using the new 3-mm facilities of the Compact Array to continue her research. Kate is currently taking a maternity break after the birth of her son. She will return to Australia with her family to begin her Bolton postdoctoral appointment in December 2004. She will be based at Marsfield.

Russell Edwards – Pulsar postdoctoral fellow

Russell Edwards completed a BSc degree in Computer Science at Monash University. In 1996/97 he was a summer student at ATNF under Dick Manchester's supervision, working on a system to record pulsar-timing data at Tidbinbilla. Following completion of his degree he commenced a PhD at Swinburne University of Technology with Prof Matthew Bailes as supervisor. Russell's thesis project was a high-latitude pulsar survey using the 20-cm multibeam receiver at Parkes, specifically optimised for the discovery of millisecond pulsars. This was very successful, discovering 69 pulsars including eight millisecond pulsars. Russell completed his PhD in 2001 and took up a post-doctoral position at the "Anton Pannekoek" Institute at the University of Amsterdam. While there he has made use of the facilities at Westerbork, mainly studying the individual-pulse properties of pulsars. With his wife and young daughter, Russell is returning to Australia in early August to take a post-doctoral appointment with Dick Manchester's Federation Fellowship team. He will mainly be working on precision pulsar timing at Parkes, establishing a "pulsar-timing array" with the ultimate goal of directly detecting gravity waves.

Enno Middelberg – CSIRO/Bolton postdoctoral fellow

Enno Middelberg arrived at the ATNF on 31 May as a new CSIRO/Bolton postdoctoral fellow. Enno grew up in Haren, Lower Saxony, did his undergraduate degree in physics in Bonn at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, working on EVN and MERLIN observations of Seyfert galaxies. His PhD at the MPIfR was done under the supervision of Alan Roy, who will be well known to many at the ATNF.

During his PhD, Enno spent most of his time observing nearby AGN with the VLBA. In a project to measure magnetic fields through Faraday rotation in the vicinity of nearby AGN cores, he detected a depolarising screen in front of the pc-scale radio jets in five objects. His work on Seyfert galaxies was continued with VLBI monitoring of NGC 3079 and a single-dish monitoring of a sample of Seyferts with the Effelsberg telescope.

Enno developed a phase-referencing technique for the VLBA that uses low-frequency visibility phases to calibrate high-frequency data. The technique allows observations of weak sources at higher frequencies and the measurement of positions at the two frequencies relative to each other. This is particularly interesting because a position shift with frequencies is a measure of various physical properties in the jets. Enno will be based at Marsfield and hopes to be able to participate in LBA studies of Seyfert galaxies and further improve phase-referencing techniques.

Naomi McClure-Griffiths – CSIRO postdoctoral fellow

Naomi McClure-Griffiths will remain at the ATNF on a three-year CSIRO postdoctoral position from the end of her Bolton fellowship in September 2004. Naomi's research will continue to focus on neutral hydrogen (HI) in the Milky Way.  She expects her work over the next year or so will be dominated by the Southern Galactic Plane Survey (SGPS) Galactic Centre survey, which will be completed this year. With these data she will begin a large project studying the structure and dynamics of neutral hydrogen (HI) in the central five kiloparsecs of the Milky Way. This project will focus on understanding the relationship between the molecular ring, the bar, the three-kpc arm and inner spiral structure. Because she (as she puts it) "can never stop surveying", she has recently proposed a new HI Galactic All-Sky Survey (GASS) with Parkes to study the distribution of HI in the halo and the Milky Way environment. She hopes GASS will expand her research away from the Galactic plane at least to the halo and maybe a bit further.

Roberto Ricci – postdoctoral fellow

Roberto Ricci graduated in Astronomy at the University of Bologna in March 2000. His degree project title was: "Polarisation properties of two Compact Steep Spectrum radio sources" and he worked at the Institute of Radioastronomy (IRA) of Bologna under the supervision of Prof Roberto Fanti and Dr Franco Mantovani. In November 2000, he started his PhD in Astrophysics at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS) in Trieste. His PhD project was the study of high-frequency properties of extragalactic radio sources and their contribution to CMB anisotropy contamination. His advisors were Prof Luigi Danese (SISSA and Padua Astronomical Observatory) and Prof Gianfranco De Zotti (PdAO/SISSA). Roberto has also been an ATNF co-supervised student under the co-supervision of Prof Ron Ekers and has been working on the pilot study and the first run of the Compact Array 20-GHz southern sky survey (AT20G). Roberto will arrive in November to continue his work on this survey, partly funded by SISSA and Ron Ekers' Federation Fellowship.

Lister Staveley-Smith