“CR7 (COSMOS Redshift 7) made me fall in love with astrophysics”

Heather Wade, David’s newest PhD student, explained that she arrived at Lancaster for her undergrad intent on doing particle physics and working at CERN. However, David explaining his team’s discovery of CR7 in her second year Astronomy module helped uncover her passion and love for astrophysics.  

Heather wasn’t initially planning on doing a PhD, but she didn’t want to leave Lancaster University when she finished her masters and so asked her supervisor John Stott if there were any available internships. After being put in contact with David, he offered her an internship, and suggested she apply to a PhD with him, she’s now been working on that PhD for almost a year, and is very glad that David contacted her.  

Heather said that if she wasn’t doing astronomy she would be working in Data Science/Data Analysis, earning more money but also doing much less interesting work. During her masters project she studied galaxy clusters with Hubble Space Telescope data, seeing how they evolve. This summer she will continue working on her PhD, finding line emitters in HAWK-I and VLT data in the COSMOS field at even higher redshifts than David’s team had previously found line emitters.  

When asked about what inspires her, she said: “There are so many mysteries in the Universe! Let’s try and figure some of them out” a philosophy that is a big part of what the XGAL team lives and works by and should inspire others in science.  

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