Rebecca Davies is a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) student at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Despite being an undergraduate, she has published three first-author papers, is about to submit two more and is co-author on another three published papers. She has also spoken at seminars at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Her honours research is on how star populations within galaxies are affected by massive black holes.
“So much of what I’ve achieved, I owe to my supervisor. She realised I have potential and invested in me and I’m really grateful for that. I had never imagined I could publish something as an undergrad, but my supervisor encouraged me to, and hearing that from her motivated me to keep going. That was the start of everything for me.
“At ANU, the small number of undergrads and the large number of academics really helps because each student has much more opportunity to be exposed to research at a higher level. The professors are so open. They basically beg PhB students to come and do research for them! If you’re interested in research, coming to ANU is definitely the best move you can possibly make. I’m not overselling it—that’s really what I think. Being at ANU is definitely the most amazing opportunity I ever could have had.”