Rebecca K. Leane

I completed my undergraduate degree at Monash University, majoring in physics and mathematics. In my final undergraduate year, I designed an interface for dark matter software packages as part of my bachelor thesis with A/Prof Csaba Balazs. This involved determining a generic way to perform theoretical dark matter calculations and connect them to experimental observables.

In 2012 I moved to the UK to complete the Master of Advanced Study in Mathematics (Part III of the Mathematical Tripos) at the University of Cambridge. It was quite an experience being exposed to such a range of interesting and complex material while living in the beautiful historic town of Cambridge.

University of Cambridge graduation in Senate House, July 2013

In 2013 I joined the theoretical particle physics group at the University of Melbourne (and CoEPP), with A/Prof Nicole Bell as my advisor. My PhD research focused on dark matter phenomenology, in collider and astrophysical contexts. As part of my PhD I also enjoyed working as a visiting researcher in the United States, at Vanderbilt University with Prof. Tom Weiler in 2015, and at the Ohio State University (CCAPP) with Prof. John Beacom in 2016. Being able to travel and exchange ideas with people around the world is one of my favorite things about being a physicist.

SUSY conference hike group at Lake Tahoe CA,
August 2015

During my PhD, in addition to research I was also employed in teaching and outreach activities. From mid 2014 to mid 2015, I worked on an international science documentary series, titled 'Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail', with Emmy Award winning producer Sonya Pemberton and writer Wain Faimeri. I had a major role in explaining science content and developing the script for the series. It was a fantastic experience working with people in the film industry with such a different background, as well as seeing the science from another perspective. The series has been recognized through several science communication and film awards.

In 2017, I moved to Cambridge (again!) --- this time in Massachusetts, USA. I am now a postdoc in the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT.

In my spare time, I enjoy training for track and field. Since 2014, I have competed each summer in the AV Shield Track and Field Competition (sprints, jumps, throws). I also enjoy powerlifting, trap shooting, and getting creative with baking.

Competing in the 100m sprint (middle) at AV Shield, November 2016