UWC Astronomy People 2021

The UWC Astronomy team in 2019 – before the pandemic


Michelle GablerAstro
Nombuyiselo NqakalaCRC


Ed ElsonSenior Lecturer
Lerothodi LeeuwProfessor
Michelle LochnerSenior Lecturer
Roy MaartensSARChI Professor, Astro Head
Siyambonga MatshawuleLecturer
Carolina OdmanAssociate Professor, IDIA Associate Director
Mario SantosSARChI Professor, CRC Director
Russ TaylorProfessor, IDIA Director (UCT/UWC)
Mattia VaccariAssociate Professor, UWC eResearch Director


Fangxia AnIDIA Postdoctoral Fellow
Marcin GlowackiIDIA Postdoctoral Fellow
Melis IrfanSARChI Postdoctoral Fellow
Sheean JolicoeurSARChI Postdoctoral Fellow
Dionysios KaragiannisSARChI Postdoctoral Fellow
Piyanat KittiwisitSARAO Postdoctoral Fellow
Rahul KothariSARChI Postdoctoral Fellow
Yi-chao LiSARChI Postdoctoral Fellow
Eliab Malefachlo SARAO Postdoctoral Fellow
Hengxing PanSARAO Postdoctoral Fellow
Sourabh PaulCRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Louis PerenonSARChI Postdoctoral Fellow
Matt PrescottIDIA/CRC Senior Research Fellow
Jingying Wang CRC Postdoctoral Fellow


Simthembile DlaminiRoy Maartens / Sheean Jolicoeur
Brandon EngelbrechtMario Santos / Jingying Wang / Yi-chao Li
Narusha IsaacsEd Elson
Mekuanint Kifle Lerothodi Leeuw
Mponeng KopanaRoy Maartens / Sheean Jolicoeur
Eliab MalefahloMario Santos / Matt Jarvis
Mosima MasipaMario Santos / Sultan Hassan
Siyambonga MatshawuleMario Santos / Marta Spinelli / Roy Maartens
Nomthendeleko MothaRoy Maartens / Michelle Lochner / Louis Perenon
Omphile RabyangLerothodi Leeuw
Nandrianina RandriamiarinarivoEd Elson / Andrew Baker / Roy Maartens
Liantsoa RandrianjanaharyRoy Maartens / Dionysios Karagiannis
Nicole Thomas Romeel Dave / Ed Elson
Junaid TownsendMario Santos / Sourabh Paul
Jan-Albert Viljoen Roy Maartens 
Verlon EtsebethMichelle Lochner
Boikhutso MabalaRuss Taylor / Mattia Vaccari
Kabelo MalapaneMario Santos / Phil Bull
Sibusiso MdhluliRuss Taylor / Mattia Vaccari
Mfundo MdwadubeMattia Vaccari
Chaka MofokengMattia Vaccari / Russ Taylor
Malebo MolokoMario Santos / Matt Prescott
Thando MothogoaneEd Elson / Marcin Glowacki
Palesa NombulaMario Santos / Bruce Bassett
Malema RamonyaiMichelle Lochner
Mpendulo Sibiya Lerothodi Leeuw / Maarten Baes / Erwin de Blok 
Walter SilimaMattia Vaccari / Fangxia An


Robin HallSenior Systems Administrator


  • Sambatra Andrianomena (SARAO)
  • Mario Ballardini (Bologna)
  • Phil Bull (Queen Mary London)
  • Stefano Camera (Turin) 
  • Chris Clarkson (Queen Mary London)
  • Michelle Cluver (Swinburne)
  • Catherine Cress (UWC)
  • Daniel Cunnama (SAAO) 
  • Romeel Davé (Edinburgh)
  • José Fonseca (Queen Mary London)
  • Sultan Hassan (Flatiron New York)
  • Jarita Holbrook (Edinburgh)
  • Matt Jarvis (Oxford)
  • Dave Kilkenny (UWC)
  • Alkistis Pourtsidou (Queen Mary London)
  • Maciej Serylak (SKAO Manchester)
  • Marta Spinelli (Zurich)
  • Imogen Whittam (Oxford) 

Latest news about our people:

  • Science Belongs To All Of Us – NSTF “Science Oscar” For Science Communicator Prof Carolina Ödman
    By Nicklaus Kruger, UWC Institutional Advancement. South Africa is a country of many languages – but for many of us, “science” isn’t one of them. Astrophysicist and Associate Professor Carolina Ödman has made it her mission to translate and share the joys of science with everyone – and her efforts have earned her the coveted Communication & …

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  • UWC’s Best Masters student awarded to Mr Mogamad-Junaid Townsend
    The award was announced during UWC’s Annual Research Recognition Awards and presented by the DVC Research and Innovation, Prof. Jozé Frantz. Mogamad-Junaid competed his MSc Summa Cum Laude within 2 years of enrolling. His hope is to go on and pursue a career as a cosmologist, studying the history and evolution of the universe, while …

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  • Africa for Africa – Yao Marc becomes Ivory Coast’s very first astrophysicist
    His dream has always been to come to South Africa to study astrophysics. Today, Harris Yao Marc can proudly say he became the first to earn a PhD in astrophysics in his home country, the Ivory Coast. Marc knew he was certainly aiming for the stars in wanting to become an astrophysicist, and when the …

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  • UWC Astro members elected to IAU committees
    The International Astronomical Union recently held its elections for members to lead the various scientific bodies organised as divisions and commissions. UWC Astronomy members Carolina Odman (IDIA) and Lucia Marchetti (former postdoc, now at UCT) were elected to Commission C2 “Communicating Astronomy to the Public” and Division J “Galaxies and Cosmology” respectively. We congratulate them …

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  • Postdoctoral Fellowships
    The Centre for Radio Cosmology (CRC) at UWC is internationally recognised for its research in cosmology using MeerKAT, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and other radio and optical/IR telescopes. CRC faculty are involved in MeerKAT and SKA key science, as well as in HERA, HIRAX and the Rubin Observatory (LSST). In 2021, the UWC Astro …

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  • NSTF “Science Oscars” Will Recognise SA’s Finest – And The UWC Nominees Are…
    The National Science and Technology Forum awards were established decades ago to recognise outstanding contributions to science. The University of the Western Cape (UWC) is once again playing its part, with three top UWC scientists being nominated for the 2020/2021 NSTF-South32 Awards. “We are living in interesting and unprecedented times,” said Professor Michael-Davies-Coleman, Dean of UWC’s Faculty …

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