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Kelly Gourdji successfully defends thesis

Submitter: Antonia Rowlinson
Description: On Friday 17th September, Kelly Gourdji successfully defended her PhD at the University of Amsterdam watched on by her very proud Supervisor (dr. Antonia Rowlinson, ASTRON & UvA) and Promotor (prof. Ralph Wijers, UvA). Kelly has had a long association with ASTRON; for 2 years she was the Masters student of prof. Jason Hessels (ASTRON & UvA) before working on her PhD for 4 years with dr. Antonia Rowlinson. This has led to her varied thesis working on topics from time domain searches for Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) to image plane searches for radio emission from compact binary mergers.

The top right figure shows a key result from her first paper that led on from her Masters thesis; these are unusual FRBs from a repeating source of FRBs, initially referred to as 'smudges', that would be missed by standard FRB search methods. The full paper is available here . Following this, Kelly investigated the potential link between two localised FRBs, found in old stellar populations, with the mergers of two neutron stars ( paper ). This work leads naturally on to the remainder of her thesis.

Four key chapters of Kelly's thesis showcase important transient astronomy results obtained using LOFAR during the past 4 years and her invaluable work processing and interpreting these events. Her work includes the follow-up of LOFAR of the very first neutron star binary merger detected via its gravitational wave signal (Figure in bottom left and paper ), the very first automatic rapid response triggers by LOFAR on gamma-ray bursts (papers here and here ), and determining how we can hunt for transients following the detection of gravitational events that are poorly localised (Figure in bottom right and paper ).

Her thesis is available here

Many congratulations dr Kelly Gourdji!
Copyright: Various
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