Biographical Notes on Principal Speakers

Mark Bailey (Armagh Observatory)

meb-sProfessor Mark Bailey is an astrophysicist and the Director of the Armagh Observatory since 1995. Following an undergraduate degree in Physics at Cambridge and a Masters at the University of Sussex, he obtained a PhD in Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh in 1978 with a thesis on the evolution of active galactic nuclei, subsequently working at the Universities of Cambridge, Sussex, Manchester and Liverpool John Moores. In recent years his astronomical research has moved away from distant galaxies towards areas closer to home: the dynamical evolution of comets, asteroids and meteoroid streams; Solar System – Earth interrelationships; and aspects of the comet and asteroid impact hazard. The minor planet (4050), discovered in 1976 by C.-I. Lagerkvist, was named “Mebailey” in March 1990 for his work on the dynamics and origin of comets. He is the author, co-author or editor of nearly a hundred scientific papers and several books, the most recent “Border Heritage” (see describing the work of the Armagh Visitor Education Committee and the extraordinarily rich shared heritage of the City of Armagh and County Monaghan from roots in the distant past to the present. He is a former Council Member and Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society, holds the position of Honorary Professor at Queen’s University Belfast, and was awarded an MBE for services to astronomy in June 2007.

Peter Brabazon (Discover Science and Engineering [DSE], Dublin)

brab-1Peter Brabazon is Programme Director, Discover Science and Engineering (DSE), Ireland’s national science promotion programme. The overall objective of the DSE programme is to raise the level of the public’s understanding of scientific and technological issues and to bring about a significant cultural shift in attitudes. The programme seeks to promote a positive attitude towards careers in science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM). The programme is managed by Forf´as on behalf of the Office of Science and Technology and was developed in association with the Department of Education and Science, and the Institution of Engineers of Ireland in consultation with other groups, including policy, education and industrial interests, involved in science promotion nationwide. Peter was responsible for leading the Industry and general Energy Awareness programmes with Sustainable Energy Ireland before joining Forf´as in 2004. He is an electrical engineer and is from Dublin where he lives with his wife and two sons.

Sue Christie (Northern Ireland Environment Link [NIEL], Belfast)

Sue_Photo_FormalProfessor Sue Christie has been the Director of NIEL, the networking and forum body for voluntary environmental organizations in Northern Ireland, since 1991. She is an ecologist, originally from the USA, with an MSc and PhD in Ecology and Behavioural Biology. She has a wide range of environmental interests and has been involved in a number of voluntary organizations, government committees and working groups on a variety of environmental matters. She is currently an independent member of the Strategic Waste Board, on the NI Climate Change Impacts Partnership and the Boards of Action Renewables, Sustainable NI and Tidy NI. In addition to work in Northern Ireland she is involved in an environmental education project and ecological research on Soqotra Island, Yemen. She is Visiting Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Ulster, Coleraine and a tutor in environmental planning at Queen’s University Belfast. She is a Member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management and a Chartered Environmentalist and was awarded an OBE in December 2008.

Apostolos Christou (Armagh Observatory)

tolis-tnApostolos ‘Tolis’ Christou is a Research Astronomer at Armagh Observatory with largely theoretical interests in solar system dynamics. He is interested in the characteristics and stability of co-orbital motion (small bodies in 1:1 mean-motion resonance with planets), both now and in the past, and with colleagues has demonstrated the existence and dynamical robustness of hitherto unknown modes of co-orbital motion, which appear only at high eccentricities and inclinations. He also studies the possibilities for observing meteors in the atmospheres of Mars and Venus, which can extend our knowledge of the meteoroid complex to sizes ranging up to dm. In addition to promoting various ‘mutual event’ campaigns, he is currently working on dynamical models of the evolution of the irregular satellites systems of the gas giants.

Graham Cliff (University of Manchester)

GrahamCliff4ArmaghDSC01773TN10Graham Cliff is presenting a joint paper with Colin Henshaw (Tabuk, Saudi Arabia), which aims to develop a broad understanding of what today is called ‘light pollution’. This is no more than a symptom of the modern 24-hour day. Graham Cliff obtained his first degree in Physics and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester, after which he became what is now described as a nanotechnologist in Materials Science in 1971. His career goal was to analyse at atom-detection limits using the analytical electron microscope (AEM). Material Scientists around the world now employ his Cliff-Lorimer k factors in AEM analysis. He has been an amateur astronomer since 1957 and is now an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester. He hosts the anti-light-pollution/light-at-night (LP/LAN) web-site at

Leo Enright

leoLeo Enright is an Irish radio broadcaster and news reporter with special interests in science, and astronomy and space science in particular. He is currently a member of the Governing Board of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, and has recently completed a period serving as Chairman of Ireland’s Discover Science and Engineering (DSE) programme.

Brian Espey (Trinity College Dublin)

bre_esa_wwwBrian Espey has been interested in astronomy since his teens, and has been an member of various astronomical societies since that time, including 30 years as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Brian obtained a BA in Experimental Physics from Trinity College Dublin, before working for the SERC at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Following a PhD in astronomy at the University of Cambridge, he worked as a Royal Society Science Exchange Fellow at the University of Leiden, before moving to the two further postdocs at the University of Pittsburgh and the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). At JHU Brian was involved in the Astro-2 Space Shuttle astronomy mission, before moving to the Space Telescope Science Institute as an Assistant Astronomer working for the European Space Agency. Since October 2001 Brian has been a permanent staff member in the School of Physics in Trinity College Dublin, where he has supervised the building of an optical and radio teaching observatory and the development of a growing astrophysics section.

8. Tomas Graf (The Observatory and Planetarium of Johann Palisa, VSB-TU, Ostrava, Czech Republic)

TG_portretTomas Graf graduated in physics at the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University in Brno and later also obtained a PhD there (Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics). Since completing his studies he has worked at the Observatory and Planetarium of Johann Palisa, VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, becoming the head of this department in 1992. Externally he also teaches Fundamentals of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Ostrava, and Practical Astronomy and Popularization of Astronomy at the Silesian University in Opava.

Andreas Hänel (Osnabrück Planetarium)

andreasStudied physics and astronomy at Bonn University (1972–1986), with observing runs at different observatories. 1986 Post-doctoral research position at the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, then director of the planetarium in the Natural History Museum am Schölerberg, Osnabrück and observing with the 60cm telescope of the local astronomy association. Has been working on light pollution since 1993.

Colin Henshaw (Tabuk, Saudi Arabia)

chenshawColin Henshaw is co-author of the paper presented by Graham Cliff (University of Manchester), which aims to develop a broad understanding of what today is called ‘light pollution’. Colin Henshaw, a teacher and world-renowned variable-star astronomer, obtained his first degree in Zoology in 1972. He now teaches English Language, Anatomy and Physiology, and Pathology at a training centre in a hospital in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. He once taught in Kadoma, Zimbabwe, where he co-discovered Supernova 1987A. His interest in the environmental harm of light pollution resulted in a letter to the Journal of the British Astronomical Association in 1994. Many of his predictions from that letter are to be seen happening in the natural environment today.

Robert Hill (Northern Ireland Space Office, Armagh Planetarium, Armagh)

rob2-1Robert Hill is the Director of the Northern Ireland Space Office, based at the Armagh Planetarium (see He has spearheaded the campaign to bring astronomy and space-science topics to teachers and pupils through the newly revised curriculum in the province. He is currently co-ordinating the creation of thematic units with regional government and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment to align the latest astronomy and space related resources to accredited and integrated education. Robert is an educational consultant with the UK Yorkshire based Space Connections group, and part of the original UK team tasked with the possibility of creating a European Space Education Resource Office structure in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK. In his previous post as Business Manager and Science Communicator for Armagh Planetarium, he designed and created the ‘From Earth to the Heavens’ exhibition and has worked with several other science centres to help in the realization of exciting and stimulating European space related exhibitions. During this period he also became the Faulkes Robotic Telescope Project schools coordinator in Ireland and helped bring this resource (in collaboration with the British Council) to several other regions including Portugal and Russia. He founded the Astrogazers Ireland Astronomy schools network, working with teachers to gain confidence in using astronomy resources for the classroom. Robert is a member of many European and Global wide working groups and panels including author of Astronet Panel E ‘Education, Outreach and Recruitment’ elements ‘Relationships with Industry’ and ‘Planetaria and Museums’. He was also part of the team evaluating the European Southern Observatory public outreach and educational material. He is currently a member of the International Astronomical Union Executive CommitteeWorking Group for International Year of Astronomy 2009 and a member of the UNESCO Space Education Team to Tanzania and Nigeria. His present duties include liaison with the local government in Northern Ireland to explore the possibility of using astronomy and space science as a key skills developer for adults returning to education and project management and coordination of the Yorkshire Planetarium refurbishment. He is committed to encouraging regional industry and business to recognise the potential offered by engagement with the space industry through the global space agencies, either as partners involved in development of resources, or training to create a human resource capability able to compete effectively in the global markets to the highestspecifications and technology.

Dan Hillier (Royal Observatory Edinburgh, UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, Scotland)

Dan_Hillier_for_LP_symposiumDan has been Visitor Centre Manager at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh (ROE) since 2000. From Bristol, he is a history graduate with a professional background in environmental interpretation and museum management. Working at Manchester Metropolitan University he was involved, through advisory, training and consultancy work, in supporting environmental and heritage organisations in developing their approaches to ‘environmental interpretation’, drawing especially on ideas from North America about how significant outdoor sites are presented and explained to visitors. From 1994–1997 he coordinated the Environmental Initiative for the Scottish Museums Council, which supported 13 education projects involving museums and local environmental organisations. On joining the ROE, he led new teacher training programmes that have been attended by some 1,000 teachers from most of the local authorities in Scotland. This involved running Scotland’s first residential training events for primary school teachers of science, to train some 50 teachers to run workshops for colleagues in their own schools. In 2007 he led the creation of the Dark Sky Scotland partnership, involving the Forestry Commission Scotland, Careers Scotland and Glasgow Science Centre, among others. In 2008, following the success of the Scotland programme, he established the steering group for the Dark Sky Discovery programme for the UK and Ireland as an IYA2009 project. His role at the ROE also includes managing Public Relations for the site.

Fernando J´auregui (Dark-Sky Awareness Coordinator and Astrophysicist of the Pamplona Planetarium)

Fer3Fernando J´auregui is an astrophysicist at the Pamplona Planetarium and IYA2009 Dark-Sky Awareness Coordinator. He has worked in the education and production department of the Pamplona Planetarium since 1992 and regards the fight against light pollution as a essential part of his job, access to the night sky being an essential tool to explain the stars on show in the planetarium. As he puts it, “They pay me to teach Astronomy and in return I must convince them to light properly in order to allow me to do my job.” That’s why I’m here, enjoying my job, studying sky glow, and undertaking a number of other activities.

Simon Jeffery (Armagh Observatory)

csj-sEducated in Edinburgh and London, Dr Simon Jeffery obtained his PhD for a theoretical study of stellar structure and evolution at the University of St Andrews. During fellowships in Kiel, Germany and St Andrews, he learnt techniques of observational astronomy including photometry and spectroscopy from the ultraviolet to the infrared, much of it using small telescopes. He also developed expertise in the physics of pulsating stars and stellar atmospheres. Since moving to the Armagh Observatory in 1996, Simon has led a successful group studying the evolution of highly-evolved stars, frequently based on observations of stellar variability from a wide range of telescopes. He is currently a senior research astronomer at the Armagh Observatory, chairman of the Astronomical Scence Group of Ireland, and a visiting academic at Trinity College Dublin, where he lectures in Stellar Structure and Evolution.

Steven Lockley (Harvard Medical School)

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Associate Neuroscientist, Division of Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham andWomen’s Hospital. Steven Lockley ahs a particular interest in human circadian photoreception and the effects of light on the circadian pacemaker and other non-image forming responses. Our studies include investigations of the effects of timing, duration, intensity and wavelength of light exposure on circadian resetting, melatonin suppression and the acute alerting effects of light. We also study visually impaired individuals under field and laboratory conditions to examine the effects of the severity and type of blindness on circadian photoreception, the periodicity of the circadian pacemaker and development of circadian rhythm sleep disorders. These basic studies have led to the development of novel therapeutic strategies to treat non-24-hour sleep wake disorder, Advanced and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome with appropriately timed melatonin administration in blind patients. We have also recently begun to examine the role of visual impairment on endocrinology and breast cancer risk in blind women. With the HarvardWork Hours Health and Safety Group, we assess the impact of extended work hours on health and safety of workers and the public. Our studies include the development of interventions that reduce extended duration work hours, fatigue and medical errors in hospital residents, and the implementation of large-scale occupational fatigue management and sleep disorders screening programs in several police forces nationwide.

Dorien Lolkema (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands)

DorienLolkemaDorien Lolkema is a physicist and researcher in the field of air quality and remote sensing. Working with different kinds of remote sensing techniques like lidar and DOAS, she has been busy in satellite validation, and nowadays works on air quality forecasting and night-time light emission. She is actively involved in the European initiative GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), and concerning night-time light emission works primarily on measuring night-time light emission by satellites.

Paul Marchant (Leeds Metropolitan University)

MeInGarden2006MarchantPaul Marchant works in statistics. He started out in physics/astrophysics and indeed continued to teach the Open University’s ‘Relativity and Cosmology’ course for 17 years. Astrophysics got him seriously into statistics, and so after his PhD he studied the subject to MSc level and was later awarded Chartered Statistician status. He supports research across a variety of disciplines at Leeds Metropolitan University and produces a range of publications. Has taken part in the UK Universities Research Assessment Exercise in 2001 (education) and 2008 (health), and has been a (Crown Court) expert witness in statistics. He has contributed to the Government’s Reviews of Science and takes an interest in evidence-based policy generally. He is an active member of the Royal Statistical Society, recently being a member of its Medical Section and currently the chair of the Leeds and Bradford local group. Some of his material is available at:

John Mason (South Downs Planetarium, Chichester)

Jmasonohn Mason is a past president of the British Astronomical Association and a founding trustee of the South Downs Planetarium Trust, a hundred-seater planetarium and science centre in Chichester, West Sussex. He is a greatly sought after public speaker with an international reputation as an enthusiastic and entertaining communicator of science. He has travelled extensively in the UK and overseas, notably chasing total solar eclipses and exceptional meteor showers, and observing the polar aurorae or Northern Lights. In the course of his work he has made numerous appearances on radio and television, produced a large number of television series and documentaries, edited technical books, and published many technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has appeared more than a dozen times with Patrick Moore on the long-running BBC TV series ‘The Sky at Night’.

Tom Mason (Armagh Planetarium)

Tom Mason is a geologist and has been director of Armagh Planetarium since August 1996. He studied at Queen’s University Belfast and his undergraduate degree in 1971 was followed by research into the Carboniferous palaeoenvironments of west Fermanagh which earned him a PhD in July 1974. From July 1974 to August 1996 he worked in South Africa as an academic geologist, researcher and consultant: he was promoted from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer, and from Associate Professor to ad hominem Research Professor and Director of the Marine Geoscience Unit at the Department of Geology & Applied Geology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Based at the Durban campus of UKZN Tom’s research and consulting interests encompassed a diverse range of topics including dinosaurs and mammallike reptiles, trace fossils, coal deposits, diamond deposits on the African south-west coast, Namibian desert palaeoenvironments, and coastal zone geology and geomorphology. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers. In 1996 he returned to Northern Ireland as Director of Armagh Planetarium ( Since then he has driven a programme of rebuilding, refurbishment and re-investment, and the rebuilt Armagh Planetarium re-opened to the public in August 2006. Honoured with the award of an MBE in March 2006 for his services to astronomy education in Northern Ireland, he planned Armagh Planetarium’s rebirth. He has a long-term interest in working with young people and special-needs children and served as the Department of Education’s representative governor of Lisanally Special School. He has been active in adult education and life-long learning throughout his professional career, running special palaeontology field trips for interested amateurs in South Africa, and working with community education groups. He served as President of the British Association of Planetaria from 2005 to 2008 and is currently the President the International Planetarium Society.

Bob Mizon (Coordinator, Campaign for Dark Skies)

bobstuutgtBob is a graduate in modern languages, but is much better known as an astronomer. Having taught French for 26 years, he embarked on a daring career change in 1996. Responding to a lifelong passion for astronomy, he is now a planetarium operator, taking a mobile dome in to schools, youth groups and societies all over southern England. Over 100,000 people have experienced a tour of the Universe with Bob at the controls. Bob is best known in the scientific and environmental community as the co-ordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Campaign for Dark Skies, which aims to turn back the tide of light pollution which has seriously affected our view of the stars over the last fifty years. Glare, light intrusion and skyglow have become the norm nowadays, a situation hardly compatible with a society which is supposed to be saving energy and protecting the environment. Bob was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1985, and has been associated with the Wessex Astronomical Society in various offices for many years. An active observer of the night sky, Bob lectures to astronomy societies and groups all over the country. Bob writes astronomy books and translates them from French.

Terry Moseley (Irish Astronomical Association, Belfast)

poneill_tmoseley_beaghmore_2009jun21Terry Moseley has been active in amateur astronomy for over 40 years, having concentrated his observing on Jupiter, Saturn, meteors and variable stars, with a variety of telescopes up to 37 cm aperture. He has served the maximum of three spells of 3 years each as President of the Irish Astronomical Association (IAA), and has held many other posts in that organization, of which he is currently PR Officer. The IAA has honoured him with its two awards: the Fitzgerald Medal, and the Öpik Award. He was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He served as Interregnum Director of Armagh Planetarium for four months in 1969, and was the founder and first president of the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies (IFAS). He has authored a book on astronomy and space exploration for schools, namely “Reaching for the Stars” (Pergamon, 1974), and has written many other articles for various astronomy publications. He is currently on the editorial advisory board for the BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine, and appeared as the guest on a Sky at Night programme on observing Jupiter. He has appeared as guest astronomer on many other TV and radio programmes on astronomy, and has given lectures on the subject to a wide variety of astronomical societies and other organizations. He recently served on the Committee for Astronomy and Space Research of the Royal Irish Academy, and the organizing committee for IYA2009 in Ireland. He has acted as adviser on, and assisted with, various aspects of the restoration of the great 72-inch Reflector at Birr Castle. His current interests include light pollution, total solar eclipses, and archaeoastronomy. He was honoured by the International Astronomical Union by the naming of an asteroid in his honour “(16693) Moseley”.


Sean Noone (Managing Director, Superior Electronic Lighting Controllers (SELC) Ltd, Ireland)

noone-1Sean Noone is based in Belmullet, Co Mayo, Ireland. SELC specialises in controls for street lighting and has pioneered a dimming system for street lighting with the potential for significant energy savings and reduction of light pollution. Sean is also heavily involved with the European E-Street programme. The SELC company web site is

Nobuaki Ochi (Yonago National College of Technology, Japan)

ochiNobuaki Ochi has been teaching physics at Yonago National College of Technology, Japan. He obtained his doctorate on the subject of cosmic-ray physics. Having great interests in space science and environmental problems, it was natural for him to start studying light pollution. During the last two years he has introduced educational materials concerning light pollution into his physics lectures.

Michael O’Connell (Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies)

mocMichael O’Connell is the Chairperson of the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies ( and the Chairperson of the Midlands Astronomy Club ( Michael is an amateur astronomer living in Kildare whose main interests are in astrophotography, solar astronomy and meteorites. Michael is the author of the IFAS Observing Handbook “The Messier Objects Observing Challenge”.

Steve Owens (Glasgow Science Centre, Scotland)

hillierSteve Owens is the UK Coordinator for IYA2009, based at the Glasgow Science Centre, Scotland. He is leading the Dark Sky Parks initiative.


Bob Parks (Washington DC Office Managing Director, International Dark-Sky Association)

Bob_headshot-1Bob Parks is founder of the Virginia Outdoor Lighting Taskforce (VOLT), an all-volunteer, non-profit, grassroots advocacy group since 2000. Its mission is to promote safe and efficient outdoor lighting. VOLT has been successful helping localities in Virginia to enact lighting ordinances and was instrumental in the passage of legislation to require that all state facilities purchase only full cut-off fixtures. Mr Parks is also an avid amateur astronomer and past president of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, the largest of its kind in the United States. He has been a member of International Dark-Sky Association since 2000. In 2005, he founded the Almost Heaven Star Party at Spruce Knob, WV, one of the darkest observing sites on the East Coast. In March 2009, he joined the IDA to launch the Washington Office for Public Policy and Government Affairs. As managing director, he is charged with keeping Congress and federal agencies up to date regarding IDA’s mission and its issues. In addition, he is working to build a coalition of environmental and energy organizations that have parallel goals to reduce light pollution, conserve energy, and preserve the natural environment.

Friedel Pas (International Dark-Sky Association Board Member, IDA Europe)

Pas1Friedel Pas has been fighting light pollution since 1990. In 1993, he joined the workgroup Werkgroep Lichthinder, which founded and still runs the pioneering lights out event, the Belgian Night of Darkness, which enjoys over 62% participation from Belgian municipalities. In 2004, Friedel became president of Preventie Lichthinder, which set up collaborations with the Belgian government and currently runs the Belgian Night of Darkness. As current European Liaison, Friedel has been invaluable in organizing and promoting IDA programs throughout Europe, including the European Symposium. Friedel is the winner of the 2008 Hoag-Robinson Award.

Kim Patten (Programs Director and Public Affairs, International Dark-Sky Association)


Kim_Patten-webKim has been working to protect the night for over three years. As primary coordinator for events and conferences she’s had the honour of organizing the IDA Annual Conference, Business Meeting, and The Night Symposium. An active participant in the International Dark-Sky Places committee, she enjoys working directly with night-sky conservation efforts. Kim is a member of the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the International CPTED Association. Kim is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona. Her undergraduate work is in Political Science and European History and her graduate work in Urban and Environmental Planning. She has presented “Night? In the City” a paper by Dr. David L. Crawford at the Light Pollution & Urban Lighting symposium hosted by Istanbul Kultur University and been published in the International Federation of Park and Recreation Administration’s “IFPRA World” Magazine on the International Dark Sky Parks program.

Don Pollacco (Queen’s University Belfast)

donpol080403Don Pollacco gained his undergraduate degree and PhD at the University of St. Andrews, subsequently working first as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant there and then as a University Lecturer in the Liverpool John Moores University (1992–1995). He then spent five years as Staff Astronomer at the Isaac Newton Group, La Palma, Canary Islands; and has been at Queen’s University Belfast since 2000, where he is now Professor of Astrophysics. He is the Project Scientist and originator of the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) project.

Miruna Popescu (Armagh Observatory)

mirunaMiruna has over ten years of experience as a researcher in solar physics, including a PhD at the Armagh Observatory. Her most important result was to show that the tiny explosions in the Sun’s coronal holes force plasma upwards and are the origin of the fast solar wind. In recent times she has expanded her work in the public understanding of astronomy and is currently the outreach coordinator for the International Year of Astronomy in Ireland.

James Hoban Rickard (Astronomer, and Member of the Borrego Springs Dark Sky Committee)

JimFaceJames Hoban Rickard obtained his MS and PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Maryland, specializing in the structure of our galaxy. After a postdoctoral year at California Institute of Technology, he worked for six years as a staff astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. After returning to the USA, he took a position at the Clark Lake Radio Observatory in Borrego Springs, California. Most recently he taught cosmology and natural science to future teachers at San Diego State University. Now retired, he lives in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon in the home country of his grandparents.

Wim Schmidt (Platform Lichthinder, Nederland)

Zomer_2007_01Wim Schmidt grew up in the darkness of the north of Holland, and was initially drawn into studying astronomy by his uncle. Later he switched to psychology. He worked for twenty years in art education, but in the last ten years he has returned to his old love and founded the Dutch light pollution organization. He has obtained a number of assignments from different regional administrations to help reduce light pollution in the different parts in the Netherlands.

Emma Stone (University of Bristol)

Emma_ESEmma Stone (Webpage: has been working in the field of conservation biology for over 13 years. After completing her undergraduate degree she worked in Zambia for five years as Assistant Research Coordinator on the Biodiversity Project in Kafue National Park and Project Manager at Munda Wanga Wildlife Park. During this time she was involved in many different projects carrying out field research on a variety of species. Emma completed her Masters degree in Conservation Biology in 2005, conducting a thesis on techniques for estimating Brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea) densities in and outside protected areas in South Africa. Since then she has worked as an Education Display Coordinator for the Philippines project at Chester Zoo; Project Coordinator for the Mammal Society’s National Small Mammal Monitoring programme; research intern studying the impact of domestic cats on wildlife in Bristol; and as an independent consultant for ecological consultancies. She returned to Africa for four months in 2006 as an Assisting Ecologist researching African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus). She began her PhD in December 2006 after recognizing the huge increase in development projects affecting bats together with a lack of scientific research on the impact of such development. She is very much an applied conservation biologist, with an interest in the conservation implications of human disturbance and wildlife conflict issues.

Constance E. Walker (U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory)

Photo_Connie_Walker08Dr Constance E.Walker is an associate scientist and senior science education specialist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, USA. She has the privilege of directing the International Year of Astronomy’s Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone Project, as well as the GLOBE at Night Program, and of working with the dedicated task groups for both projects.

Albert White (Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign)

meAlbert White runs the Irish Section of the IDA, the Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from University College Dublin and a Master of Science in Astronomy from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Albert is a member of South Dublin Astronomical Society and currently works as a software engineer for Sun Microsystem in Dublin. He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 2005.

GüntherWuchterl (Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany)

HPIM6332-1Günther Wuchterl was born in Vienna and has been a scientist at the University of Heidelberg, Germany; the University of California Santa Barbara, USA; the Technical University, Vienna, and the University of Vienna, Austria; and the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany. His main work area includes the theory of the emergence of celestial bodies, star and planet formation. Günther is working on the search for extrasolar planets with Eike Günther (Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg) and the search for planets with brown dwarfs, and with Ralph Neuhäuser (AIU Jena) on the first direct imaging of a planet orbiting another star. Günther participated in the rescue of the historical Kuffner observatory in Vienna, and has led a national public campaign for the determination of the light contamination in Austria.

Zoltán Kolláth (Konkoly Observatory, Budapest, Hungary)

zkZoltán Kolláth obtained his degree in 1986 at the Physics and Astronomy Department of Eötvös Loránd University. In 1990 he was awarded a PhD and in 2003 became a Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He has been working at the Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 1987 and was the deputy director of the institute from 2000–2005. He is the president of the Hungarian Astronomical Association, and a member of the International Dark-Sky Association, the International Astronomical Union and the Lighting Society of Hungary.