Prof. Jan Cami
Dr. Jan Cami is a Professor and Director of the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory at Western University in Ontario, Canada. He is also a Research Associate at the SETI Institute in California. Jan’s research focuses on studying gas and dust around dying stars and in the interstellar medium using ground-based and space telescopes. He is known for discovering the largest molecular species ever identified in space, the fullerenes C60 and C70.
In addition to his research and teaching work, Jan is also actively involved in science outreach. He is passionate about sharing his love of astronomy and science with the public and is committed to making science accessible to everyone. Some of his notable outreach activities include organizing the Science Rendezvous festival at Western, giving public lectures on astronomy, hosting public and private observing nights at the Hume Cronyn Observatory, and providing expert commentary to local and national media outlets. For his outstanding work in astronomy communication, public education, and outreach, Jan was awarded the Qilak Award from the Canadian Astronomical Society in 2019.
Dr. Mark Tovey
Dr. Mark Tovey is the Observatory Curator at Cronyn Observatory, leading the design of historical exhibits and the care of historical collections. He designed three period rooms in the observatory as permanent exhibits: a 1940s-era observatory director’s office (2015), a 1960s-era telescope control room (2017), and a 1940s-era observatory workshop (2018). He actively conducts research on the history of astronomy and has a forthcoming edited book for which he curated astronomical art from the 16th-20th centuries.
Charmi is a Astronomy PhD student with a fascinating research focus on molecules in space. Originally from India, Charmi completed her undergraduate studies in physics there before moving to Canada to pursue her Master’s degree in 2021. At Cronyn Observatory she co-organizes outreach events.
As a child, she was captivated by the creativity and curiosity of science video creators on YouTube, and this sparked her interest in science communication. She loves sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with others, and is always eager to engage with people at the Observatory about astronomy and science in general. she often writes science blogs for her personal website (https://charmibhatt.com/) and produces science videos, occasionally. She is an avid collector of space merchandise and enjoys designing websites and composing animations.
Anusha Ravikumar is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Her work with Dr. Aaron Sigut focuses on understanding hot, massive emission-line stars, employing observational and modeling techniques. She is actively invested in science communication, educating the general audience about contemporary research in space science. She also spends time coloring or in pottery as a hobby.
Bavithra is a master’s student at the University of Western Ontario. Her favourite part of astronomy is understanding the formation, evolution and structure of galaxies and has chosen to do her research in exactly that. Bavithra is also an outreach assistant at Cronyn observatory. She loves to educate others on astronomy hoping that she inspires someone else the way she was once inspired to understand the universe. Her favourite part of being an outreach assistant is showing activities that help us understand astronomy a little bit better. Outside of Cronyn, she also loves to read, do puzzles, play sports, travel and look at pretty pictures of galaxies.
Nasra Yarow is a 4th year undergrad student pursuing an Honours Business Administration at the Ivey Business School at Western University. Nasra is a student in Western’s Black Leadership University Experience (B.L.U.E) program where she was selected to work at the Hume Cronyn Observatory. Nasra decided to make her mission at the observatory about outreach into the Black community in London as she is passionate about increasing the representation and visibility of Black people in Astronomy. After she graduates, Nasra will head into a career in business management consulting.