I’m John, a 35 year old Scottish physicist. I’m into all things technical, mathematical and scientific, and I’ve been tinkering with computers and equations for many years. I’m a big music lover and play guitar and bass at the “annoy the neighbours” level, and occasionally in bands for fun. I recently got into photography, you can see some photos from my travels around the world in pursuit of science. Along the way I’ve lived in Glasgow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Amsterdam and Utrecht.
By day (and most evenings) I’m a research fellow in astrophysics at the University of Glasgow, where I work in the Institute for Gravitational Research. My research involves analysing data from Advanced LIGO to detect
elusive gravitational waves. I study black holes and neutron stars where the extreme gravity provides a tool to probe fundamental physics, and I co-chair the LIGO working group devoted to detecting their coalescence. I’ve spent the last few years working on methods to find the weak signals and extract their parameters. In September 2015 we detected the merger of two black holes (GW150914) and we finally got to put all our preparations to good use! I’ve got lots of experience with MCMC and Nested Sampling algorithms for Bayesian inference. I’m interested in the newly emerging field of Astrostatistics, where astronomy meets modern machine learning techniques.