Astrophysicist Elected to Australian Academy of Science

31 March 2010

Elaine Sadler, an ARC Australian Professorial Fellow and Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, has recently been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Elaine Sadler.
Professor Elaine Sadler.

Distinguished for her work in high energy astrophysics and galaxy evolution Professor Sadler said she was delighted to be a Fellow, "The Academy is a prestigious institution, and to be elected as a Fellow is a great honour for any scientist".

Professor Sadler's main research area is galaxy evolution, i.e. studying how galaxies form and change over cosmic time. Currently she says she is busy trying to learn more about the feedback mechanisms which link the energy output of a galaxy's central black hole to global properties like the star-formation rate as well as planning an ambitious new study of distant galaxies which will use the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope currently under construction in Western Australia.

"In this work, we hope to solve one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology: why did the largest galaxies in the Universe stop forming new stars at least seven billion years ago?

The Fellowship of the Academy is made up of over 400 of Australia's top scientists, distinguished in the physical and biological sciences and their applications. Professor Sadler is one of four University of Sydney scientists to be made a Fellow. The others are: Professor Roger Reddal (medicine), Professor Jeffrey Reimers (chemistry) and Dr Marianne Frommer (biology).

Professor Sadler said she is looking forward to attending the Academy's formal admission of new Fellows and awards presentation to be held in Canberra on 6 May with her university colleagues. "I do think it's quite exceptional to have three people elected in one year from the Faculty of Science - four altogether from the University of Sydney."

The Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London founded the Academy in 1954 by with the distinguished physicist, Sir Mark Oliphant, as founding President. The Academy's objectives are recognition of outstanding contributions to science, education and public awareness, science policy and international relations.