I am a planetary geomorphologist with an interest in studying planetary surface processes through remote‐sensing and analogue work and I have strong teaching and science communication experience. I am an associate lecturer in Geology of the Solar System at Birkbeck, University of London and I am currently also working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in laboratory astrophysics at The Open University. I have cross‐disciplinary experience, with a PhD in the topic of Martian geomorphology and a First Class Honours degree in Physics with Astronomy and Space Science. I have enjoyed research experience involving planetary surfaces remote sensing at NASA Ames, The Natural History Museum and The Open University and also have experience in project management at The University of Cambridge. I am passionate about STEM outreach and working to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive culture in academia.
Dublin, Ireland 2014–2018
- Thesis: The Role of Sublimating CO2 as a Geomorphic Agent on Mars.
- Supervisor: Dr. Mary Bourke.
- Secondary supervisor: Prof. Jim McElwaine.
- PI on successful Europlanet Grant proposal. Independently designed, curated and orchestrated EU Horizon 2020 ‐ funded experiments at The Open University Mars Simulation Chamber investigating the interaction between sublimating CO2 ice and Mars regolith analog samples. Used photogrammetry to measure surface change.
- PI on successful Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship proposal to investigate active Martian surface processes via remote sensing and laboratory analogue work
- Surveyed linear gully pits and araneiforms on Mars and measured seasonal change in the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE instrument DTMs and orthophotos.
- Delivered Q1 journal publications and disseminated results internationally.
B.Sc. Physics with Astronomy and Space Science
Dublin, Ireland 2009‐2013
- First Class Honours, GPA: 3.92
- Year 1: Won entrance scholarship based on entry level highest grades.
- Year 2: Won stage 2 scholarship for highest exam results on the course.
- Year 3: Study Abroad at San José State University
- Selected to participate in Intel Ideation Camp at NASA Ames
- Relevant subjects: Theoretical Astrophysics (A+), Space Mission Design (A+), Exploring the Solar System (A), Creative Writing (A), Astronomy and Space Science (A+), Galaxies, Observational Cosmology and the Interstellar Medium (A+)
- Final Year Research Project: Space Mission Design, grade A. Collaborated internationally with students from the University of Southampton and the University of La Laguna, Tenerife to design a gamma ray detection space mission.
Loreto High School, Beaufort
- 590 points (out of 600), 99th percentile, highest grade in school.
London, UK Jan 2021–May 2021
- Lecturing the undergraduate module; Geology of the Solar System. Teaching on planetary surfaces, the methods used to study them, Earth analogues, etc.
- Ensured that content, methods of delivery and learning materials met the defined learning objectives and communicated with colleagues to ensure standards were met at all times.
- Identified learning needs of students and defined appropriate learning objectives with equity, diversity and inclusion in mind. Strived to base my teaching style on compassion and understanding of the student’s perspective and so invited and responded to rolling feedback
- Developed course notes, slides and additional material, delivered online lectures, communicated with students via Moodle, encouraged critical thinking, provided feedback and lent support and answered questions during contact hours.
- Used a range of delivery techniques to inspire and engage students including organising for guest speakers such as Dr. Chris McKay and Dr. Candice Hansen to talk to the students and answer questions on course topics, as well as a career in planetary science. Spoke to the students about my own research and arranged for the class demonstrator to share his research also, in order to showcase contributions to planetary science at a variety of career levels.
- Designed an interaction‐focused assignment on active surface processes and understanding seasonal Martian activity using high resolution remote–sensing techniques. Introduced students to HiRISE and HiVIEW and developed an assignment that would allow them to take part in the research they read about.
- Used perspective as a new lecturer in the department, as well as encouraging rolling student feedback to recognise areas where current provi‐ sion may need revision or improvement. Raised these with the Assistant Dean and fellow lecturers for discussion at departmental meetings.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Milton Keynes, UK March 2021–present
- Performing laboratory experiments on collisions of mm and cm‐sized icy grains under low temperature and vacuum conditions in order to understand how ensembles of icy interstellar grains aggregate around the snowline in proto‐planetary disks during planetary formation.
- Supporting supervision of PhD students.
Utopia‐Argyre Periglacial Working Group
Quebec, Canada Sept 2020–Jan 2021
- Mapping and statistical analysis of putatively periglacial surface features on Mars using high resolution remote–sensing images.
- Co‐author of Elsevier book chapter in “Ice is Nice: a Volatile‐Rich Journey from the Inner to the Outer Solar System”.
- Member of LPI Martian Enigmas workshop organising committee.
Dublin, Ireland Jul 2020 ‐ Sept 2020
- Fact checking scientific content relating to the Solar System and space exploration for a video series published online.
- Assisting with science communication script writing relating to planetary science for TV personality and science communicators Mark the Science Guy and Dr. Norah Patten.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
London, UK Jul 2019–Jul 2020
- Analysed multi–wavelength remote–sensing datasets of the Martian surface to identify 6 possible source locations of the Shergottite Martian meteorites.
- Mapped >10,000 craters using ArcMap 10.
- Used crater age–dating and model fits to date 118 ejecta blankets and underlying material.
Founder and Art Teacher
Brews & Brushstrokes
Cambridge, UK Aug 2019–present
- Managing and teaching at public and corporate art events. Running online classes, communicating with students, applying a range of teaching and learning methodologies to both beginner‐level and advanced‐level students. Originally taught classes of up to 60 people, moved to online March 2020.
Cambridge, UK Apr 2019‐Jul 2019
- Agile project management at a startup spun out of the University of Cambridge and funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Managed medium–scale projects from start to completion. Communicated difficult scientific concepts to investors during pitching events.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Utopia‐argyre Periglacial Working Group
Remote Oct 2018–Apr 2019
- Worked as part of an international consortium of researchers analysing remote–sensing images of potentially periglacial features on the Martian surface.
- Applied relative stratigraphy and comparative planetology to investigate whether mid–high–latitude mounds are thermokarst features.
- Mapped high–centered and low–centered polygons in Utopia Planitia, Mars and statistically analysed these data in Matlab to test ice–wedging formation hypothesis.
NASA International Intern
Mountain View, California Jun‐Aug 2015
- One of two Irish PhD students selected and funded to partake in the NASA International Internship Programme by the Irish Research Council.
- Analysed NASA astrobiology empirical datasets on metabolic control for long‐haul spaceflight to Mars. Advisor: Dr. Yuri Griko.
- Investigated methods to monitor Enceladus’ plume from Earth. Advisor: Dr. Chris McKay.
Dublin, Ireland Sept 2013‐Sept 2014
- Analysed radio wavelength measurements of red giant stellar atmospheres to understand atmospheric thermodynamics and validate MHD numerical model of magnetic flux tubes.
- Received A+ in Plasma Physics course.
- Completed Postgraduate Teaching and Learning training.
- Demonstrator in undergraduate Theoretical Physics laboratories.
Teaching & Supervision
2021 Birkbeck, London, UK
Supervisory Assistant, Astrochemistry PhD students
School of Physical Sciences
2021 The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Individual and small group teaching, in person and online,
2009–2019 Dublin, Ireland
Changing Worlds, Geography Department
2016 Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Junior Cycle Science Curriculum
2016 Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Undergraduate Theoretical Physics
2013 Physics Department, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Professional Qualifications & Courses Taken
Postgraduate Teaching and Learning Course
Course which instructed upon how to teach undergraduates; teaching practices, communicating scientific topics, working with diverse students, relating to student needs, engaging interest and enthusiasm, diverse teaching and assessment methodologies, reflective practice.
Dublin, Ireland Trinity College Dublin 2013
Foundation Project Management Certification
London, UK The Knowledge Academy 2019