Associate Professor John O'Byrne is a research astronomer in the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney, one of Australia's major centres of astronomical research. He is Australian born and bred but has spent several years working in the US, exploring his research interests in high resolution imagingusing ground-based optical telescopes. His current interests centre on the rapidly expanding field of 'Astrophotonics' - using optical fibres devices to enhance observations of faint astronomical objects such as distant galaxies.
He is an experienced educator, with over 20 years experience as a university lecturer teaching physics and astronomy, has won several university and national teaching awards, and is active in Physics Education Research.
Professor O'Byrne has even more experience in communicating the excitement of modern astronomy to the public. For many years he conducted the University's astronomy courses for adults, including acting as 'tour guide' for bus tours of astronomical observatories in New South Wales. He continues to run the viewing nights for these courses, drawing on his background as an amateur astronomer to show people the highlights of the southern sky.
This varied experience has led to a role as an author or consultant editor for over 20 popular science and astronomy books, for both adults and children, including the "Skywatching" series and "The Illustrated Atlas of the Universe". He is also an author of the new high school physics text 'in2 PHYSICS'.
John is also Secretary of the Astronomical Society of Australia, the society of professional astronomers in Australia. Additional information can be found at the following link: http://www.sydney.edu.au/science/physics/~obyrne