The 2015 Australian Gemini, Magellan, and Keck Science Symposium

AAO North Ryde, May 21-22, 2015

Magellan TelescopesGemini TelescopesKeck Telescopes

 Symposium group photo

Symposium Objectives

The AAO's International Telescopes Support Office (ITSO) and Astronomy Australia Limited are pleased to announce the 2015 Australian Gemini, Magellan, and Keck Science Symposium. Following the first very successful Australian Gemini and Magellan science symposium in 2012, ITSO will host a similar event on 21 & 22 May 2015 at the AAO headquarters in North Ryde, Sydney. This meeting will also feature Australian science being conducted with the Keck telescopes, in recognition of the fact that our users at Swinburne University of Technology as well as at the Australian National University already enjoy access to these telescopes, as will the entire Australian community from 2016. Participants will also be introduced to the full “smorgasbord” of instrumentation they will have access to on Gemini, Magellan, and Keck from next year, and there will be discussions about how best to exploit the 40 nights per year of Australian Keck time.

The Symposium will feature invited and contributed talks from leading Australian users of the Gemini, Magellan, and Keck telescopes and is open to everyone, not just current users. Students and early-career researchers in particular are encouraged to attend. There will be no registration fee, and lunch, morning and afternoon teas will be provided.

The deadline for registration is Friday 8 May 2015. To enquire about a late registration, or make changes to an existing registration, please e-mail

Location & Accommodation

The Symposium will be hosted at the AAO headquarters at 105 Delhi Rd, North Ryde, Sydney, in Meeting Rooms 1&2 directly behind the Security and Reception desk. Note that registration is essential for being issued with a security pass to access the building; anyone not registered for the Symposium will not be allowed access. The AAO is located about 15 km northwest of the Sydney city centre, and is is well serviced by public transport with the North Ryde train station just 700m away, and frequent buses along Delhi Rd or Epping Rd. Although there are a number of nearby accommodation options, participants may prefer to stay in hotels near the city centre or in Chatswood and catch a train or bus to the AAO. 

Southern Cross conference

Note that the Symposium precedes the Southern Cross conference from 24-29 May in Sydney on "Multiwavelength Dissection of Galaxies" and everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in both meetings if they can.

Symposium Dinner

All participants will be invited to dinner at their own expense at a nearby restaurant on 21 May, with the location to be advised closer to the date.

Organising Committee

  • Stuart Ryder (AAO)
  • Richard McDermid (Macquarie University)
  • Lisa Kewley (ANU)
  • Jeff Cooke (Swinburne)

The Symposium is made possible by financial support from



Thursday 21 May 2015    
Time Speaker Institution Title
10:30 Warrick Couch AAO Welcoming remarks
10:40 Duncan Forbes Swinburne Galaxy Formation and Evolution: Results from the SLUGGS survey
11:00 Brad Tucker ANU Supernova and Cosmology with Gemini and Kepler
11:20 Richard McDermid Macquarie University / AAO Stellar populations and kinematics of dwarf galaxies in the Virgo cluster with Gemini-GMOS
11:40 Matthew Whiting CSIRO A Big Telescope partnership - Gemini's confirmation of ASKAP's first discovery of HI absorption
12:00 Adebusola Alabi Swinburne GC kinematics of a double-sigma galaxy: NGC 4473
12:20 LUNCH    
13:45 Yeshe Fenner Astronomy Australia Ltd The role of AAL in Australian 8m Access
14:00 Stuart Ryder AAO Overview of Gemini & Magellan instrumentation
14:20 Jeff Cooke Swinburne Overview of Keck instrumentation
14:40 Andy Sheinis
AAO Update on the development of the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST)
15:00 Anne Medling ANU Following Black Hole Growth Through Major Mergers
16:00 Daniela Opitz UNSW Searching for Binary Y Dwarfs with the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS)
16:20 Erik Kool Macquarie University/AAO The SUNBIRD survey: revealing obscured supernovae with Gemini
16:40 Fan Liu ANU The chemical composition of Kepler-10: a possible signature of terrestrial planet formation
17:00 END    
18:00 Workshop Dinner    
Friday 22 May 2015    
Time Speaker   Title
9:00 Sarah Sweet ANU An adaptive optics view of the morphological evolution of galaxies during 1 < z < 2
9:20 Themiya Nanayakkara Swinburne Constraining the IMF at z~2 using MOSFIRE
9:40 Christina Baldwin Macquarie University Early-Type Galaxy Stellar Populations in the Near-Infrared
10:00 Dougal Mackey ANU Dissecting the M31 halo with globular cluster and tidal stream kinematics
10:20 MORNING TEA    
11:00 David Fisher Swinburne An Upclose View of Clumpy, Turbulent Disk Galaxies
11:20 Michael Cowley Macquarie University / AAO The ZFOURGE Survey: The Cosmic Evolution of Galaxies Since Redshift z = 4
11:40 Michael Murphy Swinburne The circumgalactic medium at redshift 0.5–5.5: astrophysics and fundamental physics
12:00 Nicola Pastorello Swinburne Using DEIMOS on Keck as a large-FoV pseudo-IFU near-IR spectrograph
12:20 LUNCH    
14:00 Joachim Janz Swinburne Probing new parameter space with Keck: Kinematics and stellar populations of rare compact objects
14:20 Yago Ascasibar Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain) The (resolved) 'main sequence' of galaxy formation
14:40 Jeff Cooke Swinburne Supernova discoveries at z ~ 2 - 5: Insight into cosmic reionization, deceleration and the conditions in the Universe at z ~ 20
15:00 Stuart Ryder AAO Closing remarks
15:10 END    

Registration for the symposium has now closed. If you wish to enquire about late registration, or make changes to your existing registration, please e-mail

Name Affiliation
Adebusola Alabi Swinburne University of Technology
Andrew Sheinis AAO
Anne Medling ANU
Brad Tucker Mt. Stromlo Observatory, ANU
Christina Baldwin Macquarie University
Daniela Opitz University of New South Wales
David Fisher Swinburne
Dougal Mackey RSAA, ANU
Duncan Forbes Swinburne University
Erik Kool Macquarie University/AAO
Francois Rigaut ANU
Gordon Robertson University of Sydney / AAO
Heath Jones Macquarie University
James Allison CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science
Jeff Cooke Swinburne University
Jeffrey Simpson Australian Astronomical Observatory
Joachim Janz CAS, Swinburne University
Manuel Emilio Moreno-Raya CIEMAT
Matthew Whiting CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science
Megan Johnson CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, ATNF
Michael Cowley Macquarie University / AAO
Michael Murphy Swinburne University of Technology
Nicola Pastorello Swinburne University
Paul Jones University of New South Wales
Richard McDermid Macquarie University / AAO
Robert Bassett Swinburne University of Technology
Rosa Gonzalez Delgado IAA (CSIC)
Sarah Brough AAO
Sarah Martell UNSW
Sarah Sweet RSAA, ANU
Sean H. Wang The Australian National University
Stuart Ryder AAO
Themiya Nanayakkara Swinburne University of Technology
Yago Ascasibar Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain)
Yeshe Fenner Astronomy Australia Ltd