Most people start out in astronomy looking up at the stars as a child. That was not me. I grew up moving all over the world. I graduated in NY from UNIS, after undertaking the International Baccalaureate program. Every kid goes through a dinosaur phase. Mine just happened to last until my mid 20’s. For my first degree, I undertook a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland. There I met Dr. Steve Salisbury and helped the UQ Dinosaur Lab dig up fossil dinosaurs, fish, and crocodiles in Western Queensland. I ended up as a science teacher at Elonera Montessori School. To progress as a teacher, I needed to complete some extra training in a field other than biology. I found Swinburne Astronomy Online, having always enjoyed Science Fiction, so I thought I’d give it a go. In the meantime, my wife and I had move to Colorado, USA, and I started going to colloquia at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Through discussions and on my own initiative, in 2017 I started my remote PhD with Prof. Jonti Horner from the Centre for Astrophysics at University of Southern Queensland (USQ).
I am currently undertaking a PhD on the Taxonomy and Dynamics of small Solar system objects, including the satellite systems of the giant planets and the Jovian Trojan Asteroids. The project includes adapting a taxonomic technique called astrocladistics for use in the planetary sciences, with the aim of identifying families in the Jovian Trojan swarms. I am also using n-body simulations to examine the dynamics of the Jovian Trojans, within a taxonomic context. My hope is to provide a context for future use of astrocladistics in Planetary sciences, as well as the exploration of the Jovian Trojans. When I’m not researching, I enjoy internet spaceships (Eve Online), board games, and sci-fi in all their forms.
- Solar system Formation and Evolution
- Solar System Dynamics Astrobiology
- Solar System Small Bodies
- Exoplanetary Science
- Planetary Habitability
Mr Holt’s publications can be viewed here