Mark Wardle is a theoretical astrophysicist at
Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He obtained
an Honors degree in mathematics and a Masters degree
in physics from the University of Auckland in New
Zealand, before setting sail for a Ph.D. at Princeton.
He held research positions at the University of
Chicago and Northwestern University before joining
the faculty at the University of Rochester. He returned
to the Southern Hemisphere in 1996, spending several
years at the University of Sydney before moving
to Macquarie in 2002.
Mark's main interests are the physical and chemical
processes occuring in interstellar space, and trying
to understand the role played by magnetic fields
in the formation of stars and planetary systems.
"I was interested in astronomy as a kid --
I still have the battered 60mm refractor I was given
as a ten year old -- but it never occurred to me
that it would be possible to make a career out of
it. As an undergraduate I was interested in mathematics
and physics, so I was thinking of trying theoretical
physics. It was only during my masters research
on cosmic-ray antiprotons that I realised that astrophysics
would be a lot more fun. The mixture of physics,
chemistry, slightly dodgy approximations and stunning
images is simply intoxicating."