St Pauls School and University of Queensland in Brisbane, and then the Australian National University in Canberra.
Edinburgh and Southampton Universities, University of Rome, Swansea University
Professor of Theoretical Physics, Swansea University
Favourite thing to do in my job Understand a part of science in a way that is so deep that you’re certain you’ve fully grasped it!
I work out what the universe was like just after the Big Bang using very large computers and my very small brain.
My Typical Day
I try to make some progress researching how the Universe was formed, but am unfortunately often distracted by more important things.
What I'd do with the money
I didn’t know that there was prize money!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
motivated, thoughtful, energetic
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Help two profoundly deaf students get University degrees in Physics
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I was intrigued about astronomy and the idea of trying to understand anything (everything) that was around me.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
A stand-up comedian. Well, OK, seriously? Ummm maybe a doctor, but they are applied scientists really, so I’m honestly not sure!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Nick Cave, Lou Reed, First Aid Kit
What's your favourite food?
Anything Italian, or Thai, or French, or Indian, or Malay, or seafood, or carnivorous, or edible
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Swam on the Great Barrier Reef would be close, I guess.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
This one’s impossible! 1. to be able to sing without people hiding behind their chairs 2. to be able to draw (like an artist!) 3. to be given a hint about how Quantum Mechanics really works
Tell us a joke.
What’s the maritime equivalent of a self-obsessed train-spotter? A naval gazer. [Well, ok, at least I made it up all by myself!]