Dr Shari Breen, astronomer, CSIRO, Sydney

↩ Back to the main news page

15 September 2015

The short lives of hard-living, fast burning, high mass stars

We are made of star stuff. The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth and the iron in our blood were all made in high mass stars that burnt briefly and brightly before exploding.

Dr Shari Breen is using ‘The Dish’ at Parkes and a network of international telescopes to understand the life cycle and evolution of these stars. For her the 1,000 tonne Parkes radio telescope is an old friend that creaks and grumbles as she guides it across the sky, hunting for high mass stars.

She will use her L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship to develop her use of masers (laser-like beams of intense radio waves) to investigate these stars.




2010 PhD (astronomy), The University of Tasmania, Hobart
2005 Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Tasmania, Hobart

Career highlights, awards, fellowships, grants

2015 Two week study tour of Chile, including presentation at an international conference and a week working at the University of Chile, Chile
2013–2015 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Tracing the evolution of high mass stars: combining maser evolutionary timelines with chemical clocks
2014 Invited to work with colleagues at National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Boston University, Boston, USA
2014 Study tour, invited presentation and collaboration with University of Manchester, UK
2014 Invited presentation, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
2014 Study tour and invited presentation National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Yamaguchi University, Japan
2013 Invited review presentation, Australia Telescope Compact Array’s 25th Birthday Conference, Narrabri
2013 Extended study trip to the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
2010 Bolton Fellowship at CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
2009 Best Galactic Astronomy Poster, Australia Telescope National Facility Synthesis School, Narrabri
2007–2010 CSIRO Postgraduate Scholarship
2007–2013 Tasmanian Graduate Research Scholarship
2005–2006 Australia Telescope National Facility Summer Vacation Scholarship

Top five publications

Breen SL, Ellingsen SP, Caswell JL, Lewis BE (2010) 12.2-GHz methanol masers towards 1.2-mm dust clumps: quantifying high mass star formation evolutionary schemes, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 401: 2219–2244. (Impact factor 5.521, 69 citations)

Walsh AJ, Breen SL, Britton T, Brooks KJ, Burton MG, Cunningham MR, Green JA, Harvey-Smith, L, Hindson L, Hoare MG, Indermuehle B, Jones PA, Lo N, Longmore SN, Lowe V, Phillips CJ, Purcell CR, Thompson MA, Urquhart JS, Voronkov MA, White GL, Whiting MT (2011) The H2O Southern Galactic Plane Survey (HOPS)–I. Techniques and H2O maser data, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 416: 1764–1821. (Impact factor 5.521, 59 citations)

Breen SL, Caswell JL, Ellingsen SP, Phillips CJ (2010) Water masers accompanying OH and methanol masers in star formation regions, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 406: 1487–1532. (Impacts factor 5.521, 54 citations)

Breen SL, Ellingsen SP, Caswell JL, Green JA, Voronkov MA, Fuller GA, Quinn LJ, Avison A (2011) Statistical properties of 12.2 GHz methanol masers associated with a complete sample of 6.7 GHz methanol masers,Astrophysical Journal 733: 80–97. (Impact factor 6.733, 29 citations)

Breen SL, Ellingsen SP, Contreras Y, Green JA, Caswell JL, Stevens JB, Dawson JR, Voronkov MA (2013) Confirmation of the exclusive association between 6.7-GHz methanol masers and high mass star formation regions, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 435: 524. (Impact factor 5.521, 22 citations)

↩ Back to the main news page