I am a staff astronomer at ASTRON, and a visiting assistant professor of astronomy (zero-hour appointment) at the university of Groningen. My current research focusses heavily on two emerging fields: (i) observations of the early Universe when the first stars and galaxies were born, and (ii) observations of low frequency radio emission from stellar systems. I have always maintained a broader interest and have published on fast radio bursts, gravitational lensing, and dense clumps of gas in the local interstellar medium.
I use data from novel radio telescope such as LOFAR in my work. I am a core member of the LOFAR Epoch of Reionization project which aims at detecting the faint hum of primordial Hydrogen gas from a time when the Universe was only 5% of its current age. This epoch, called the cosmic dawn was when the first stars and galaxies formed in the Universe and is a frontier in our understanding of the Universe's history.
More recently, I have been drawn into the wonderful world of stars and planets. Along with Tim Shimwell and Joe Callingham, I have launched an observational effort to study low-frequency radio emissions from nearby stellar systems that will enable us to study how star-planet interaction influences the space weather and habitability of planets.
Before my astronomy days, I was an electrical engineer specializing in the design of radars for topographic mapping. I built a 35-GHz interferometric radar to map the topography of snow covered land as part of my Master's thesis at MIRSL.
Outside of work, I love badminton, hiking, backpacking and brewing beer.