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Sarah Gallagher

Sarah Gallagher

(The University of Western Ontario)

"I came to my love of astronomy while taking a class on galaxies and cosmology at Yale University in the course of pursuing a physics degree. I was struck at the time that astronomers were tackling so many really interesting and still unanswered physics questions, such as: How old is the universe? What is dark matter? and How do black holes grow? After a two-year stint teaching physics at an independent boarding school while coaching sports and running a girls dormitory, I decided to return to school. I attended Penn State for a graduate degree in astrophysics. I enjoy telling grade school children during planetarium shows that I stayed through the 21st grade!

While at Penn State, I was fortunate to be a part of the science team for the ACIS instrument on the Chandra X-ray Observatory when it launched in 1999, and used it and other X-ray observatories to investigate the winds from quasars (growing supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies). After spending a year as a postdoc at MIT to continue looking at X-rays from the active nuclei of galaxies, I crossed the continent and the electromagnetic spectrum and took a Spitzer Fellowship to pursue studies in the infrared at UCLA. I have yet to encounter a wavelength that I don't like, and have incorporated data from radio through X-rays in my research. Though space observatories can give us access to exquisite views we can't get from the ground, one of my favorite sounds is the rumble of the dome as it follows the telescope while you're observing at night on top of a mountain. In addition to continuing my research focus on energetic outflows from quasars, I have also been working on star formation and galaxy evolution in nearby compact groups of galaxies such as HCG 31.

Since 2007, I have been at The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, where I am currently an assistant professor. Though I miss the sunny California skies, the cross-country skiing here is much better."


Jayanne English

Jayanne English

(University of Manitoba)

As an Associate Professor in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, Jayanne English studies the motion of gas in galaxies in order to understand the processes that cause galaxies evolve with time. She also explores the visualization of astronomical datasets, producing striking astronomy images using data from optical, infrared, and radio telescopes. She communicates these imaging techniques to both undergraduates and the public.

Some of her image-making background was acquired at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in 1998-2000 where Jayanne English held an unusual post-doctoral fellowship. In addition to doing research, she coordinated the Hubble Heritage project, authored the Hubble Heritage website, and contributed to the creation of Hubble Heritage color pictures of astronomical objects). She is to blame for the majority of the Hubble collages archived on the Hubble Heritage site.

Like many families in Toronto, Canada, Jayanne's traveled on weekends up to cottage country, where they had a mesmerizing view of the sky. Perhaps this is why Jayanne cannot remember a time when she was not fascinated by astronomy. Before her graduation from the Ontario College of Art and Design, she had already begun the B.Sc. program in astronomy at the University of Toronto, where, as befitting an artist, she is remembered as colourful. Her Ph.D. adventure was under the starry skies "down under" at Mount Stromlo & Siding Spring Observatories in Australia, under the supervision of Ken Freeman. After her Ph.D. was granted in 1994 from the Australian National University, she enjoyed the Canadian snows and two enriching post-doctoral fellowships, with Judith Irwin, at Queen's University.

Jayanne's research interests include the behaviour of gas in interacting galaxies and the exchanges of mass and energy between a galaxy's disk and its halo. She particularly enjoyed working on the International/Canadian Galactic Plane Survey (I/CGPS) of our Milky Way Galaxy. Along with her University of Manitoba colleague Jason Fiege she is creating models of regular spiral galaxies from radio telescope observations. With American colleagues she studies groups of interacting galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope. With colleagues in Australia she acquires data to assess the amount of dark matter in galaxies and she is participating in upcoming surveys using the world-class Australia Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder radio telescope.

Jayanne also creates art works, particularly interactive New Media pieces such as "Seeing is Believing". Her cooking is also artistically delicious and adventurous. Another interest is bicycling, which she uses to try to minimize the effects of her cooking.