A new director for the Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astronomy

12 September 2014

Professor Sadler has a distinguished record in optical and radio astronomy, with more than 150 refereed publications to her name.
Professor Sadler has a distinguished record in optical and radio astronomy, with more than 150 refereed publications to her name.

The nation-wide ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics has a new director, Professor Elaine Sadler, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Sydney.

She succeeds Professor Bryan Gaensler, also at the School of Physics at the University, who has led CAASTRO since its inception in 2011.

Professor Sadler has a distinguished record in optical and radio astronomy, with more than 150 refereed publications to her name.

After obtaining her PhD from the Australian National University in 1983, Professor Sadler held positions at the European Southern Observatory and at Kitt Peak National Observatory in the USA, before returning to Australia to join what is now the Australian Astronomical Observatory.

She moved to the University of Sydney in 1993.

"I held three ARC Fellowships back to back so I had time to carry out research projects with a broad scope. Over eight years, with my colleagues here in Sydney, I used the University's Molonglo radio telescopes to make a radio atlas of the entire southern sky which is used by astronomers all over the world. "

That work started Professor's Sadler's continuing involvement with wide-field astronomy and the interpretation of big data sets, both of which CAASTRO excels in. A focus of her research has been the changing nature of galaxies over cosmic time and the symbiotic relationship between black holes and galaxies.

"My interest in astronomy began when I was about eight and was given a book with pictures of telescopes and the Universe which got me thinking about big questions. By eleven I wasthe youngest member of the local amateur astronomical society in Guildford, (England) whose members were bemused but welcoming. My path was set."

In 2011 she became Professor of Astrophysics and a Chief Investigator in CAASTRO.

"I was involved in the foundation and funding of CAASTRO so I'm very happy to be in a position now to advance the organisation, especially through wider national and international networks."

"I'd especially like to build on our links with China and other countries in Asia. They are making major investments in radio and optical astronomy, and China and Australia are already working together as part of the international team involved in developing the Square Kilometre Array telescope."

Professor Sadler was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010 and as chair of its National Committee for Astronomy, led a planning review that set strategic directions for Australian astronomy.

At an international level, during 2009-12 Professor Sadler served as President of the Division VIII (Galaxies and the Universe) of the International Astronomical Union, the world's coordinating body for astronomy.

Active in training and mentoring young astronomers, Professor Sadler particularly supports initiatives to increase the representation of women in astronomy and other sciences.

"CAASTRO is already a leader in initiatives to benefit women in science, including a move initiated by my predecessor Professor Gaensler to make all positions in the organisation available as part-time roles. Men and women, but especially women with young children, have taken advantage of that flexibility."

"It is these sorts of practical measures and action at the top that will make a difference to women's participation."

CAASTRO is funded under the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence program and receives additional funding from the seven participating universities and the NSW State Government Science Leveraging Fund.

Contact: Tom Gordon

Phone: 02 93513201

Email: 2356597832091e281803340b31511f0e0a45310b03645345