Meet our Keynote Speakers
Get to know this year's incredible speakers!
The RASNZ conference is an annual event that brings together astronomers, astrophysicists, and other professionals in the field to discuss the latest developments and advancements in astronomy. One of the highlights of the conference is the keynote speakers who are invited to share their expertise and insights with the attendees.
Professor of Astrophysics and Citizen Science Lead
Prof Chris Lintott
Professor Chris Lintott is a renowned astronomer, science communicator, and television presenter based at the University of Oxford in the UK. He is best known for his work on the BBC television series "The Sky at Night," where he presents the monthly "What's Up in the Night Sky" segment, and his role as co-founder and principal investigator of the citizen science project, Galaxy Zoo. Lintott's research interests include galaxy formation and evolution, the history of astronomy, and the search for extra-terrestrial life.
He has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers and popular science books, including "Bang!: The Complete History of the Universe" and "The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse." Lintott is a passionate science communicator, regularly appearing on radio and television to share his insights on the wonders of the universe with the public. His work has been recognized with numerous awards and honours, including the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal.
Australia National University
Charley Lineweaver is a prominent astronomer based at the Australian National University. He is known for his contributions to the study of the early universe and the search for life beyond Earth. Lineweaver has published numerous scientific papers on topics such as the cosmic microwave background, the nature of dark matter, and the habitability of exoplanets. He is also a passionate science communicator and has given many public talks and interviews on the topics of astronomy and astrobiology. Lineweaver's work has earned him several accolades, including the Australian Academy of Science's Pawsey Medal and the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Newcomb Cleveland Prize.
In addition to his research on the early universe and astrobiology, Charley Lineweaver has also studied topics such as cosmology, planetary science, and astrochemistry. He has published scientific papers on subjects ranging from the origin and evolution of the universe to the structure and dynamics of planetary systems. Lineweaver's research has also involved the development of computer models and simulations to better understand complex astrophysical phenomena. He has collaborated with researchers from around the world and is widely regarded as a leading expert in his field.
Nalayini holds a Master of Science degree in astronomy from Swinburne University in Australia. She is currently the President of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand, Vice President of the US-based International Dark-Sky Association and is the Chair of AstroNZ, a registered charity that is the country’s leading distributor of astronomical equipment and an important charity for the promotion and education of astronomy and dark skies.
With a Master of Science degree in finance from London Business School, University of London, she is also a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Financial Studies Diploma in banking from the Institute of Bankers, UK. Having previously worked for Kuwait Asia Bank, the Bank of New Zealand and Citibank where she was a Vice President, Nalayini is presently Executive Director of Vinstar Consulting, one of New Zealand’s leading economic and financial advisory service providers, which has government clients in 35 countries worldwide.
Nalayini was instrumental in the successful effort to establish Aotea / Great Barrier Island as an IDA accredited Sanctuary. She also co-leads the promotion of New Zealand’s journey to become a dark sky nation. She has spoken at Dark Sky conferences & workshops around the world.