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What is happening in the Supernova group?

Meet the new PhDs!


Written by Lisa Kelsey

We are thrilled to introduce the two newest members of the Southampton Supernova Research Group: Marcus Toy and Zoe Zontou, who have joined us this autumn to begin their PhD research. Whilst the circumstances of the beginning of their PhD journeys are a little unusual, we are confident that they will get off to a fantastic start and look forward to getting to know them and their research over the coming years.

So, to introduce themselves in their own words, Marcus and Zoe:

Hi everyone! My name is Marcus, and I'm joining the Supernova group at Southampton this year. I did both my Undergraduate and Master's degree here, so I'm excited to continue this year doing a PhD. The reason I chose to focus on Supernovae is simply because they're so energetic - the fact they outshine entire galaxies blows my mind. I'm excited to do first-hand research here at Southampton, and to meet some world-leading experts in this field. Normally in my free time I'd be gaming online or playing boardgames with some friends, but recently I've gotten quite into running, and I am currently training for a 10k!

Hello! I’m Zoe, I’m first-generation postgraduate researcher and first year PhD at Southampton. I’m a Greek citizen born in the USA, and I’ve been living in the UK since 2017. I completed my BS in Space Physics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and subsequently moved to Cardiff to complete my MSc in Astrophysics at Cardiff University. Space, astronomy, the universe, etc. have always been my passions in life, and I’ve wanted to pursue a career in this field for as long as I can remember. My dream job — perhaps unsurprisingly — would be to become an astronaut either for NASA or the ESA, but I’m perfectly happy in research as well! My main interests and research focuses have been galaxy formation and evolution, cosmology (especially dark matter), the CMB, and supernovae. Supernovae are amazing phenomena that allow us to study different aspects of the cosmos; I will be delving into the world of supernovae cosmology and next generation surveys such as the LSST and 4MOST during my project. I am excited to embark on a PhD and continue my studies of understanding the universe and becoming an expert within my field. Outside of research, I love to devour endless cups of coffee and books as well as hike, dive, explore new places, and be outside as much as possible. I also enjoy dabbling in a bit of amateur photography and am an avid phytophile. Ad astra per aspera!

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