Anthea King is involved in the QSO reverberation mapping project undertaken between DES and OzDES. From this project, she hopes to learn about the structure of AGN, black hole growth, and most excitingly, the potential to use QSO as standard candles and probe dark energy over a long cosmic period.
We asked Anthea a few more questions – here’s what she had to say:
What is your favorite part of being a scientist?
I love learning how things work, and trying to disentangle information from the data we have. I love brainstorming with others and generally just the problem solving aspect of science and the pure excitement you get when you devise a idea.
When did you know you wanted to be a scientist?
I think I always knew deep down but I didn’t ever put a name to it until university. When I was a kid I just wanted to keep studying for the rest of my life and find out as much as I could, and when I finished high school all I really knew for sure was that I wanted to study science, but I don’t think I seriously considered a career in science till the Honours year of my Bachelor’s degree. My Honours supervisor (who is also one of my current PhD supervisors) had a huge role to play in this. She has shown me how great it is to be a scientist and that you don’t have to be a genius or never have off days, but just work towards something you love.
Do you have any hobbies or play any sports?
I am a keen basketballer, playing for over 15 years, and have recently started dabbling in Ultimate disk. I don’t know what I would do without sport. Probably be quite unhappy. I am also a keen crafter, designing and sewing clothes, silversmithing jewellery and really anything that catches my fancy. Doing anything creative also helps me keep sane and I think part of the reason I love science is that you get to come up with creative solutions for the resources you have.
If you weren’t a scientist, what would your dream job be?
Anything where I got to be creative and problem solve or got to be with animals, meteorologist, radiologist, fashion designer, animal trainer, ….
Any advice for aspiring scientists?
Learn as much as you can about everything. The universe is a fascinating place. Find something that interests you whole-heartedly and pursue it. Also you don’t have to be a genius, just be prepared to pick yourself up and keep trying. And finally, everyone feels like they are not good enough at times, you just don’t see it because like you, we try to pretend otherwise. Make sure you talk about it with others and you will be surprised how many people feel the same way.