I became interested in astronomy as a young child; at the age of ten I did a project on the Solar System, and my interest in astronomy and space has only increased since then. At the age of twelve I vividly remember seeing a BBC Horizon programme called The Key to the Universe. A few years ago I managed to find the Radio Times cover which advertised the programme, it was re-discovering an old friend!
I have been a professional astronomer since starting my PhD in 1988. I obtained my PhD in astrophysics from the University of Wales Cardiff, and have lectured in universities in the USA and the UK. My research speciality is infrared astronomy, and in particular airborne astronomy (doing astronomy from an aeroplane). I am involved in NASA’s SOFIA telescope, as part of the team building the Observatory’s facility far infrared camera HAWC.