I'm a postdoc in the Astrophysics Group, School of Physics, University of Exeter, working on Star Formation, Molecular Clouds, and Antarctic Astrophysics. I specialise in observing our Galaxy in millimetre-wave and submillimetre-wave radiation: Both thermal continuum emission from dust and spectral-line emission from the molecules themselves. But I also work in optical, near-IR, radio, and X-ray wavelength ranges, and help build instruments. More details in the projects section.

I used to work in Antarctica; I ran AST/RO - a submillimetre-wave telescope at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station - for a year, including a winterover. I'm currently involved in plans and projects to exploit other possible observatory sites on the Ice: Dome A and Dome C.

Within the department, I'm responsible for our teaching telescope. It's a Meade LX-200 with a CCD camera, filters, and spectrograph. For serious technical fixes, I rely on our technical staff; I make sure that the system has acceptable astronomical performance. The teaching laboratory sessions using the telescope are organised and run by academic staff, but I sometimes help with operations on the night. Details in the UXO section.

New Stuff

First PLATO results published

March 2009: The first refereed PLATO paper is out in PASP (Yang et al. 2009).

December 2008: The Handbook of Star-Forming Regions (aka Bo Reipurth's Big Book Of Star Formation) has been published as an ASP monograph. The chapter on the Lagoon Nebula (by me, Marc Gagné, Bringfried Stecklum and Matt Kenworthy) is in Volume 2.

Seminar at the OU

November 2008: Visited the astronomers at the Open University in Milton Keynes to give a seminar on Astrophysics from Antarctica.

JCMT trip

August 2008: Observing for the Gould Belt Survey at JCMT; seminar at JAC, Hilo, on prospects for submm and THz astronomy at Dome A.

Granada workshop

April 2008: ARENA workshop in Granada, on the prospects for astronomical spectroscopy at Dome C.

Exeter meeting

March 2008: We organised a meeting in Exeter to discuss proposals for a 2-3m aperture optical/IR telescope at Concordia Station, Dome C, Antarctica. The meeting produced a Letter of Intent between European and Australian astronomers, agreeing to promote an international collaboration to build such a telescope.