In the lead up to our event Her Story – Defining Women in Astronomy on Monday 11 February, our three panelists have provided us with some background on themselves. The event had an incredible response and sold out within a few days! While tickets are no longer available, we still think it’s important to spread the word about these three kiwi women who are excelling in the science fields.

For those of you who managed to snag a ticket to the event, we look forward to seeing you here. And for those who missed out, keep and eye and ear out – another one could be in the works in the near future!

JJ Eldridge

Dr JJ Eldridge

Dr JJ Eldridge is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland. Their general research concerns the lives and deaths of stars, from those in our own Galaxy to those in galaxies at the edge of the observable Universe. Particularly the effects of binary interactions on the lives of binary stars and how these change the appearance of galaxies, alter the rates of different types of supernovae and gravitational wave events. (Left)


Dr Pauline Harris

Dr Pauline Harris

Dr Pauline Harris is from the tribes Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaka and Ngāti Kahungunu. She has a PhD in astroparticle physics from Canterbury University, where she investigated gamma ray bursts as possible sites for high-energy neutrino production. Dr Harris is currently a lecturer at the Centre for Science in Society at Victoria University and is the Chairperson of the Society of Māori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART).  There, she is dedicated to the collation and the revitalization of Māori astronomical star lore and the Māori Moon calendar. (Right)

Jennie McCormick

Jennie McCormick has been making photometric and astrometric observations from her observatory in Farm Cove (Auckland) for the last 18 years.

She observes a diverse range of astronomical objects and has collected thousands of hours of scientific data. The results of this work have contributed to ~50 scientific papers including two in ‘Science’, the discovery of 20 exoplanets, the study of cataclysmic variable stars, and the discovery of a faint asteroid, now officially named, New Zealand. In 2006 Jennie was awarded the MNZM for services to New Zealand Astronomy and received the Murray Geddes Prize from the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand (RASNZ).  In 2016, Jennie was elected one of 13 Fellows of the RASNZ. Jennie is the full time Manager of two Community Houses in the Howick area. She is the proud grandmother of Ruby and Leo, plays tennis, grows vegetables and looks after the birds in her Farm Cove garden while waiting for the sky to clear in the hope of opening her observatory dome and happily becoming lost in space for several hours. (Below) Jennie McCormick