Benjamin Pope

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Benjamin Pope

DPhil Student

I research and develop novel statistical methods technologies for astronomical optics. In my Honours and Masters at Sydney, I helped develop and apply kernel phase interferometry, a new method for high resolution astronomy. At Oxford, I'm primarily working on data analysis for the Kepler 2 (K2) mission, an ecliptic plane reboot of the Kepler mission. In particular, I'm interested in applying advanced Bayesian statistical methods to understanding systematic errors in K2 light curves.

I'm also continuing to pursue applications of aperture masking and kernel phase interferometry with extreme adaptive optics and integral field spectrographs; and in addition to this, wavefront sensing and adaptive optics, Bayesian methods in interferometry, and photonic devices.

I grew up in Sydney and studied for my undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Sydney. I have always had as much passion for the humanities as for science, and came late to astrophysics from a background primarily in Classics. A year at Berkeley and Honours research in Hawai'i brought me back to astronomy and solidified my love of light and optics. What I enjoy most about my field is how it fosters both an overwhelming sense of perspective, and a real sense of scientific adventure as you develop theory, software and hardware to tackle astrophysical problems. I also like sharing my enthusiasm for nature with the public, and have been quite involved in teaching, outreach and amateur astronomy. When I'm not doing science, you can usually find me drinking tea and talking about Vikings.

I am supported by a Clarendon Scholarship and a Balliol College Jowett Scholarship.

I am a tutor in General Relativity and Cosmology at Hertford College.