Based in California, PhD student, Dan Peluso waited many years for the stars to align to start his very own exploration of space and social change.
Working as a high school physics teacher, Dan first heard of USQ at an after-school astronomy club meeting in California. Dan told the astrophysicist running the event about the work he wanted to do and his passion for science as a vehicle for social change through education. Dr Carl Pennypacker was running the event, who had worked with Professor Brad Carter at USQ.
'He told me that my research aims could be a great fit for the team working at USQ’s Mount Kent Observatory and their MINERVA-Australis project that’s specifically dealing with exoplanets – planets that orbit a star other than our sun.'
By July 2019, Dan Peluso was a University of Southern Queensland student.
'There’s so much serendipity connected to this whole chain of events, I still can’t believe that I’m studying a multidisciplinary PhD in astrophysics and astronomy education at a university in Australia.' he said.
Now a full-time USQ PhD student and a part time researcher with the SETI Institute as their Unistellar Education Association, he hopes to complete his research project in early 2023.