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Guest Speaker - Dr Lee Spitler - Macquarie University and AAO
Thursday 05 April 2018, 07:30pm - 09:30pm
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The Huntsman Telephoto Array

I am really excited about my Huntsman observing system, which uses off-the-shelf Canon lenses to see some of the faintest galactic structures ever seen before. We can use this information to determine the detailed growth history of galaxies. I am also leading efforts to launch a similar system into space, which will map out nearly 13 billion years of cosmic history.

Dr Lee SpitlerDr Lee Spitler

Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University and Australian Astronomical Observatory

I led image analysis for the ZFOURGE survey, a 45-night campaign over 2 years on the 6.5-metre Magellan Baade telescope in Chile. We cataloged ~60,000 galaxies, including galaxies as far as 13 billion light years. This is the most precise study of the distant universe ever conducted.
As a part of ZFOURGE, I discovered one of the most distant galaxy clusters. This fascinating galaxy "city" triggered a new observational campaign named ZFIRE using the 10-metre Keck telescopes. We are looking for signs that the crowded environment of a galaxy city impacted the galaxies within it.
My PhD work focused on analysing some of the best imaging ever taken of nearby galaxies from the Subaru and Hubble Space Telescopes for the SLUGGS project. My imaging lead to the discovery of many thousands of globular star clusters, which we targeted with the Keck telescope to understand how much dark matter is in these galaxies.

Dr Spitler recieved a BSc with Honors in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, and a PhD in Astrophysics from Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia

In 2015, Dr Spitler won the Macquarie University award for Research Excellence for Early Career Researcher, and was nominated as a finalist for a 2015 Eureka Prize