Becky Smethurst

I am a research fellow at the University of Oxford. My research is focussed on low-redshift galaxy evolution studies; particularly the mechanisms responsible for the quenching of star formation. I am currently working with SDSS-IV: MaNGA data to determine whether negative AGN feedback is occurring on a population-wide scale. Complementary to this, I am also interested in the growth and powering of AGN in galaxies with merger free evolutionary histories. I am also an enthusiastic science communicator, with a popular YouTube channel 'Dr Becky' where I post a weekly video on either astronomy research news, the history of science or perhaps unsolved mysteries in physics.

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Affiliation – Christ Church, University of Oxford Position – Junior Research Fellow Github ID – rjsmethurst Homepage – Twitter – drbecky_


Galaxy Zoo & The Zooniverse - citizen science as a powerful tool in the age of big data

The success of the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo, launched back in 2007, has demonstrated the impact that hundreds of thousands of volunteers can make in a field of research. Whilst a powerful science communication and outreach tool, citizen science also allows for the classification of huge data sets in the era of ‘big data’. I will review some of the latest results from the Galaxy Zoo project, including re-evaluating Hubble’s galaxy classification system and some of the unexpected objects discovered. The success of Galaxy Zoo, saw the launch of the Zooniverse platform, now hosting thousands of citizen science projects across hundreds of disciplines; from zoology to history. Even as the pace of development of machine learning continues to increase, I will argue that human classification will still have its place in science in the years to come, with particular focus on the impact in astronomy with the advent of the LSST.