Dr Rachael Ainsworth

Research Associate

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Overview

My expertise lies in the interpretation of radio emission from protostellar systems in nearby star forming regions here in our own Milky Way. My primary research interests include astrophysical jets/outflows, star formation and evolution. I am particularly interested in both very long wavelength and very high angular resolution studies of star formation; the sensitivity of telescopes with these capabilities has drastically improved with the latest generation of instruments.

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. I work on the Horizon 2020 RadioNET “Radio Interferometry Next Generation Software” (RINGS) project to develop software for calibrating dispersive delay corrections in long baseline radio interferometry for low frequency telescopes such as the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). In addition, I conduct research to exploit the polarisation capabilities of the e-MERLIN telescope as part of Prof. Anna Scaife's LODESTONE project.

I am also Open Science Champion for the Interferometry Centre of Excellence where I promote, advocate and organise events relating to open science in astronomy. If you have ideas or suggestions for open research practices you would like to see promoted within the department, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

I was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) in Ireland where I investigated the radio emission properties of outflows from young, Sun-like stars at very long wavelengths, specifically with LOFAR. Our team was the first to successfully detect a young stellar object (YSO) with LOFAR, extending the spectral energy distribution for a T Tauri star to 2 metres (150 MHz) and constraining physical properties associated with its plasma outflows. I pioneered these studies of YSOs at metre wavelengths using the GMRT during my Ph.D., which I conducted at DIAS under the supervision of Prof. Tom Ray (DIAS) and Prof. Anna Scaife (University of Manchester).

I obtained my B.Sc. in Physics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where I contributed to projects relating to the explosion mechanism of Type Ia Supernovae using the supercomputing facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. I also interned at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2008 as part of the NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program.

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