Research Group

I am developing a group in gravitational waves, general relativity and neutron star physics. Below is a list of members, including a brief description of their projects.

Hayley Macpherson

Hayley is primarily working on doing full, three-dimensional, non-linear numerical general relativity calculations of the evolution of the Universe as a whole. With Daniel Price, I co-supervised Hayley's honours thesis in 2015, for which she won a prize for the best astrophysics honours project at Monash. Daniel and I are co-supervising Hayley's PhD project.

David Liptai

David's PhD project is to implement general relativity into the numerical method known as smooth particle hydrodynamics, and to apply this to various astrophysical phenomena such as accretion disks around single and binary black holes, tidal disruption events and neutron star mergers. I am co-supervising David's PhD project with Daniel Price.

Kyla Adams

Kyla is an honours student working on the aftermath of binary neutron star mergers. In particular, Kyla is trying to understand whether it's possible that the post-merger remnant could be a quark star, as oppossed to a garden-variety neutron star. She is doing this in terms of whether a quark star fits with our theoretical and observational understanding of these mergers.

Paul Easter

Paul is an honours student, also working on the aftermath of binary neutron star mergers. Paul is trying to understand whether near-future Advanced LIGO observations of binary neutron stars can distinguish properties of the post-merger remnant. In particular, can such observations distinguish between the formation of hypermassive, supramassive, or infinitely stable neutron stars?

Marcus Lower

Marcus is an honours student who I am co-supervising with Eric Thrane. Marcus is studying the eccentricity evolution of binary black holes systems as a function of their formation history. He is trying to understand whether any such residual eccentricity can be observed with advanced gravitational-wave detectors, and also develop an algorithm for detecting small values of the eccentricity.

Nikhil Sarin

Nikhil is an honours student who I am co-supervising with Letizia Sammut. Nikhil is developing a gravitational-wave detection pipeline to search for gravitational waves from the post-merger remnant of binary neutron star mergers. In particular, he will use X-ray observations to develop a matched filter search for these gravitational waves when a long-lived neutron star is born from the merger.

Previous Members

Lucy McNeill

Lucy was an honours student at Monash University in 2016. Her thesis was on high-frequency sources of gravitational waves, and the detectabiilty of their counter-part gravitational-wave memory signal. The effect of this lower-frequency memory signal is that LIGO's sensitivity band is effectively increased many-fold. Lucy's results were ultimately published here. Gravitational-wave memory is a strange gravitational phenomena that results in the permanent deformation of spacetime following a cataclysmic event such as a binary black hole merger.

Cristiano Leris

Cristiano was an honours student at Monash in 2016. His thesis was on detecting and understand multimessenger signals from binary neutron star mergers. In particular, he developed a method for fitting both the millisecond magnetar and fireball models to the X-ray light curves following short gamma-ray bursts, that enabled both the estimation of parameters in each model, and also did Bayesian model selection.