Pete Kuzma

PhD candidate, 2016

Nothing beats being at the telescope and observing your data, seeing the raw results straight from source.

What is your thesis topic or research interest ?

I work in the field of Galactic Archeology, were I study Globular clusters, tidal tails and stellar streams. Beyond that, I hold interest in stellar astrophysics.

Where have you come from to join this program ?

I am a local, Canberra boy.

How did you become interested in Astronomy ?

Astronomy first piqued my interest when I was 12 and saw Saturn through a moderate-sized telescope. The beautiful rings created a picture I’ll never forget. From there, I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

What experience have you gained while studying at Mt Stromlo?

Witnessing the community of Mt Stromlo has been the most fulfilling experience so far. Although the expertise varies amongst Astronomers and many different fields and groups within the field exist, everyone communicates and discusses their science with everyone else to get the best out of every field of research.

What has been the highlight of the program for you so far ?

The highest point of my research was traveling to the Cerra Tololo Inter-American Observatory near La Serena in Chile. Nothing beats being at the telescope and observing your data, seeing the raw results straight from source.

What do you see yourself doing upon completion of your PhD ?

Having a PhD opens many career paths. Post-doctoral positions and other positions within Academia are ideal, but I’ll be equipped with the skills to make it into the private or public sectors in ‘the real world’ as well.

Would you recommend Mt Stromlo to others ?

As mentioned before, the community here is engaging. We have world-class astronomers and access to world-class telescopes. Particularly as we move to the era of the 30-m class telescopes, Stromlo will be one of the first institutes to access these scopes, something you wouldn’t want to miss.

What are the benefits of life in Canberra ?

Canberra is a very lovely place to live. Easy to get around, close to national parks, plenty of entertainment venues, not to mention its own observatory !

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Astronomy ?

Astronomy is not like other sciences: you draw upon many aspects of other disciplines like chemistry and statistical applications. Study those along with maths and physics and when you finally take that step into astronomy, you'll see that the sky is no longer the limit.

Updated:  22 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  RSAA Director/Page Contact:  Webmaster