Chief Investigators

Prof Martin Asplund

Institution:   ANU

Project Lead: The First Stars

Survey Lead:  GALAH

Professor Martin Asplund is an ARC Laureate Fellow. He is an international leading authority in stellar/solar astrophysics, Galactic astronomy and the origin of the elements.

Martin and his First Stars team are using the ANU SkyMapper telescope to identify stars from the very first stellar generations in the Universe which have survived to the present day and now inhabit our Milky Way Galaxy. In conjunction with the Genesis Simulations, his time is analyzing how the First Stars produce the chemical elements and how they enrich and ionise their surrounding environment.

He is also bringing his mentoring abilities to train young researchers to lead programs on the next generation of telescopes.



Prof Joss Bland-Hawthorn

Institution: University of Sydney

Collaboration Leader

Survey Lead: GALAH

Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn is an ARC Laureate Fellow renowned for this innovative and broad-reaching science of both theory and observational astronomy, covering optical, infrared and radio astronomy. Joss also develops astronomical instrumentation, having developed SAMI and HERMES instruments that will be used in the SAMI and GALAH surveys.

Joss is leading the GALAH survey to race the chemical and mass assembly history of the Milky Way. In combination with the Genesis dynamical models, Joss is untangling the many complex processes involved in shaping a typical spiral galaxy like ours.

He is also driving the collaboration KPIs to identify the science areas that require more collaboration. He is prioritising collaborative visits for these areas, identifying, and directing key participants to facilitate and encourage collaboration.


Prof Matthew Colless

Institution:   ANU

Survey Lead: SAMI/HECTOR

Professor Matthew Colless is Director of the Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA) at ANU. He plays a significant role in supporting ASTRO 3D, as RSAA provides some of the Centre’s key facilities, through the wide-field optical capabilities of the SkyMapper Telescope and through ANU’s collaboration with the Keck Observatory.

Matthew has made major contributions to astronomical research in the fields of galaxy evolution, clusters of galaxies, the large-scale structure and motions of galaxies, and observational cosmology. As part of ASTRO 3D, he is leading a research team to investigate how matter aggregated to form galaxies and the role of the environment in galaxy formation.

He is also using data from the SAMI and HECTOR instruments to explore the dynamical scaling relations of galaxies.


Prof Scott Croom

Institution:  University of Sydney

Survey Lead: SAMI/HECTOR

Associate Professor Scott Croom is a mid-career scientist who brings over a decade of experience leading large spectroscopic surveys.

Scott will lead the SAMI and HECTOR surveys for ASTRO 3D. SAMI results include new insights into galaxy scaling relations, the discovery of outflows in star-forming galaxies, and greater understanding of the formation mechanism behind dispersion dominated galaxies.

SAMI will be replaced by the HECTOR spectrograph in 2018. It will survey 100,000 galaxies within a 5 year period and be significantly faster than SAMI.

He is also facilitating collaborations with the Genesis team to compare the theoretical star formation history with observations.


Prof Darren Croton

Institution:  Swinburne University of Technology

Project Lead: Genesis Simulations

Professor Darren Croton is an internationally known theoretical astrophysicist who works on the formation of galaxies in the nearby and distant Universe. He conducts massive cutting-edge supercomputer simulations and mines large observational data sets from some of the world’s largest telescopes.

Darren will use his extensive experience working as a theorist within large survey teams to lead the development of new models, built with SAGE (the Semi-Analytic Galaxy Evolution) model. These models will be applied to the interpretation of the vast amounts of data ASTRO 3D astronomers will have on hand across the Centre.

Darren will help the Data Intensive Astronomy to create a single, cohesive interface where astronomers can query both the Genesis Simulations and the observational data simultaneously.


Prof Karl Glazebrook

Institution:   Swinburne University of Technology

Project Lead: Galaxy Evolution

Professor Karl Glazebrook is the Director of the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing at Swinburne University of Technology. He brings extensive expertise in the galaxy formation and evolution field, as well as substantial scientific and leadership experience to ASTRO 3D.

Karl is leading the galaxy evolution project, coordinating Keck observations, analysis and outputs for both the Origin of the Ionised Universe Them and the Origin of Matter and the Periodic Theme.

He is also leading senior academics in large inter-University research collaborations, matching resources to skills and expertise across the ASTRO 3D programs.


A/Prof Christopher Power

Institution:  University of Western Australia

Project Lead: Genesis Simulations

Associate Professor Chris Power is a leading computational astronomer who is having a major impact in his field.

Chris is leading the development of Genesis Simulations that will track the birth, growth and the ultimate fate of galaxies from the earliest epoch of galaxy assembly, through the Epoch of Reionisation to the present day.

Chris models large N-body simulations (comprising of ~100 billion particles) to construct the most detailed and sophisticated prescriptions for galaxy formation that we have.


A/Prof Emma Ryan-Weber

Institution:  Swinburne University of Technology

Project Lead: Galaxy Evolution

Associate Professor Emma Ryan-Weber is an ARC QEII Fellow. She is an international leader in the observation of metals in the Intergalactic Medium at high redshifts. Her pioneering near-infrared spectroscopic observation was the first to demonstrate the viability of detecting intergalactic metals towards the end of the Epoch of Reionisation.

Emma is overseeing the data mining of the SkyMapper survey to uncover new high redshift (z>6) quasars. She is also directly measuring the ionising radiation from galaxies at z~3-4.


Prof Elaine Sadler

Institution:  University of Sydney

Theme Leader: Origin of Matter and the Periodic Table

Survey Lead:  ASKAP

Professor Elaine Sadler has extensive expertise in leading large radio astronomy surveys with extremely high international impact.

Elaine’s research expertise covers both optical and radio astronomy, and she brings extensive science management experience, including the leadership of major galaxy surveys with significant international impact.

Elaine is also leader of the ASKAP FLASH survey and is providing important continuity for ASTRO 3D.


Prof Lister Staveley-Smith

Institution:   University of Western Australia

Thread Leader: Data Intensive Astronomy

Professor Lister Staveley-Smith has over two decades of experience in leading major surveys on new radio telescope facilities and in developing and applying new software and computation techniques.

Lister is the Science Director at ICRAR/UWA. He is coordinating and leading the Data Intensive Astronomy observational teams at UWA, Curtin, AAO and the University of Sydney to ensure a cohesive Data Intensive Astronomy structure that facilitates the analysis of our Petabyte-scale datasets.

He is also coordinating and directing three ASKAP HI surveys – WALLABY, DINGO and FLASH, which are providing a critical, complimentary suite of wide and deep coverage of galaxies through space and time.


A/Prof Michele Trenti

Institution:   University of Melbourne

Project Lead: First Galaxies

Dr Michele Trenti is an ARC Future Fellow who has built a strong international reputation for combining theoretical simulations and observations to understand the first galaxies in the Universe.

Michele is using the current Hubble Space Telescope and will use the future James Webb Space Telescope to observe the chemical elements within the first galaxies of the Universe. This involves understanding how much of the elements were produced in first galaxies and whether they are blown out of these galaxies by massive galactic-scale winds from stars or supermassive black holes.

He is also connecting theorists with observers to understand galaxy formation from both a theoretical and observational practice, aiding in linking the first galaxies observations with the deep understanding of galaxy evolution that ASTRO 3D will provide.


A/Prof Cathryn Trott

Institution:  Curtin University

Project Lead: MWA EoR

Dr Cathryn Trott has a proven track record in innovation and creativity in radio data analysis and methods. She is leading the ICRAR MWA Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project for the Origin of the Ionised Universe Theme.

Using the current and expanded MWA and in the future, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), Cath is exploring the evolution of ionised hydrogen in the early Universe. Cath will also use the supercomputing facilities at the Pawsey Centre for EoR data storage, triage and analysis, augmented by existing and future-developed sophisticated signal processing algorithms.

She is also assessing the scientific progress of the Centre against goals as part of the Science Management Committee, and developing her team with leadership and mentoring skills.


Prof Rachel Webster

Institution:   University of Melbourne

Project Lead:  MWA EoR

Professor Rachel Webster is a world expert in the field of reionisation. She brings extensive leadership expertise to ASTRO 3D.

Rachel is leading the data reduction and analysis of the Epoch of Reionisation signals observed with the MWA. The extension of the MWA will break open the veil on the Epoch of Reionisation, allowing fundamental parameters of the Early Universe to be constrained.


Prof Stuart Wyithe

Institution:   University of Melbourne

Centre Deputy Director

Thread Leader: Genesis Simulations

Professor Stuart Wyithe is an ARC Laureate Fellow and an international leading authority in the theoretical simulation of the Epoch of Reionisation and Gravitational Lensing.

Stuart’s theoretical expertise spans the Epoch of Reionisation to first star and galaxy formation and evolution, and he also brings important strategic planning experience to ASTRO 3D.

Stuart is working closely with Lister Stavely-Smith to ensure the Genesis Simulations are incorporated into the Data Intensive Astronomy infrastructure, and mock data are produced for the Centre surveys.