Dr. Warrick Couch Dr. Warrick Couch

Australian Gemini Project Scientist

University of New South Wales, School of Physics

Sydney, NSW 2052, AUSTRALIA



Warrick Couch is the Australian Gemini Project Scientist and is a Professor in Astrophysics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

He was born in New Zealand and undertook his undergraduate education at Victoria University in Wellington. He then moved to Canberra where he did his PhD at Mt Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, of the Australian National University. His thesis was on the evolution of galaxies in distant rich clusters.

After completing his PhD in 1982, Warrick worked for 4 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the observational cosmology group at the University of Durham in England. He then returned to Sydney in 1985 to take up a research fellowship at the Anglo-Australian Observatory. In 1989 he took up a lectureship in the School of Physics at the University of New South Wales, and has been there ever since.

Warrick's main research interest is in the spectro-photometric and morphological evolution of galaxies, particularly in rich clusters. This has and continues to involve the use of such facilities as the Anglo-Australian Telescope, the ESO 3.6m & NTT telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope (as part of the MORPHS collaboration), and ROSAT. More recently, it has started to involve the use of GMOS and its IFU on Gemini, as well as the FLAMES system on the VLT.

He has also been a member of the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey team, where his main contribution has been to use the survey to trace the global star formation rate in galaxies as a function of their environment. Warrick has also worked on a number of other projects including the first attempts to find SNIa in clusters at high redshift and use them to constrain the cosmological parameters, kinematical studies of globular clusters around nearby galaxies, and investigations of the nature and formation of the ultra-compact dwarf galaxy populations in rich clusters.

Outside of astronomy, Warrick's main interests lie in home renovation and in family activities, particularly the musical, sporting and debating exploits of his three teenage children. He is an avid follower of cricket and rugby union, and a highly parochial supporter of the New Zealand All Blacks.