Nataliea Lowson

What is your thesis topic or research interest?

My thesis is on Peculiar Transients but my main research interest is in Exoplanets and even the planets in our Solar System.

Where have you come from to join this program?

This is a continuation of my Bachelor of Science Degree at the Australian National University. 

How did you become interested in Astronomy?

When I was in primary school, my class didn't learn about the Solar System but the other classes in my grade did. I took it upon myself to borrow a book from the library to teach myself and the rest is history.

What experience have you gained while studying at Mt Stromlo?

There have been lots! The biggest experiences would have to be in programming and research writing.

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

It would have to be starting my research. It’s exciting to work on an object that no one else has analysed.

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

I am hoping to get into (and complete) a PhD program where I can explore my interests and like most PhD students, I’d love to get a postdoc position. Aside from this, I also love science communication so I’m hoping I can become a hybrid that gets to work in both areas of science.

Why would you recommend Mt Stromlo to others?

Yes. Being at Mt Stromlo opens up pathways to excellent facilities, research assistance and numerous opportunities. The rest is up to you.

What are the benefits of life in Canberra?

It’s a relaxing and beautiful place to live.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Astronomy?

Start paying attention in your Mathematics, Science, English and Programming classes as soon as possible. Maths and science have this horrible stigma of being boring but once you start to get into those subjects you’ll find that it’s the exact opposite. Also, you do not have to be “the smart kid” to do well in Maths and Science, you just have to be persistent, determined and have the courage to ask for help if you don’t understand a concept. Writing and presenting you research through speeches and papers are very important parts of being a scientist as is learning to write your own code, which is why you shouldn’t neglect English or Programming either.

Most importantly, never accept that it’s too late to improve these skills!