Who am I?
My name is Megan Argo, and I am currently an astrophysicist at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics. I'm an expert user of e-MERLIN, and I wrote and maintain the current data reduction pipeline. As well as my own research, I'm also working on several of the legacy projects, helping with data reduction and bespoke pipelines for data reduction. I also edit the Active Galaxies Newsletter. If you're curious about my academic research you can have a look at my publications list , or check out one of the following:
In my day job I'm a professional astronomer, working with radio telescopes around the world to try and understand star formation and galaxy evolution. My current areas of research include: several large legacy surveys with the recently-upgraded e-MERLIN, a wide-field VLBI survey of M31 using the new multiple phase centre capabilities of the DiFX software correlator, a survey of the Galaxy Zoo Voorwerpjes with Westerbork, multi-epoch observations of NGC253 with NuSTAR/Chandra/VLBA, and I'm leading a project to investigate a strange class of objects which are compact and have ultra-steep radio spectra (we currently do not know what they are). I'm also very involved with e-MERLIN, having helped with the commissioning efforts, and now as a collaborator on several of the Legacy programmes, as PI of several regular observing projects, writing and maintaining the data reduction pipeline, scheduling, and acting as a referee on observing proposals.
Between 2011 and 2013 I worked at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). Before starting at ASTRON I spent a few months at Jodrell Bank Observatory helping with the commissioning and early science observations with e-MERLIN (you can find the ParselTongue scripts I wrote for loading and housekeeping of e-MERLIN data, the current version of e-MERLIN data reduction pipeline, and the associated readme files, over here). Between 2008 and 2011 I was a postdoc at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, Western Australia where I worked on wide-field imaging techniques for VLBI. For more information about my research interests, have a look at my publications list.
My alter ego
I'm also a freelance science communicator and outreach specialist, with more than ten years of experience giving public lectures, schools talks, podcasts, science writing, presenting planetarium shows, co-presenting radio shows, telescope training events, large event organisation, and running observing events around the world. I'm a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, a member of the Institute of Physics, an honorary member of Macclesfield Astronomical Society, and a member of the Society for Popular Astronomy.
You may have heard my voice on the Jodcast where I wrote and produced the News each month for seven years, or on various other podcasts and radio programmes I've contributed to or on which I've been a guest. I'm currently a regular presenter with the Under British Skies show on Astronomy.FM, and writing a bunch of astronomy-themed rock covers (I've almost got enough for a whole album). I have a variety of talks that can be given at a moment's notice, for a variety of knowledge levels (from primary-age up to undergraduate physics major); please contact me (megan.argo at gmail) for details.