Dr Tayyaba Zafar

Research Field: Star Dust

Stars burn their hydrogen gas and progressively convert it into other elements, like carbon, silicon, iron etc. In the right conditions, these elements can combine to form compounds referred to as dust. The dust, in turn eventually forms new stars, planets, moons, asteroids, and us. Even the piece of paper you are reading this on is made of stardust! 

Dust is ubiquitous and absorbs and scatters optical starlight and re-radiates it at infrared wavelengths. Dust alters the appearance of astronomical objects, making its study critical for a full understanding of our universe and for a deeper insight into our own place in the universe. Dr Zafar measure and understand how stars produce dust, what particular chemicals are present in dust, how dust is distributed throughout the universe, and how dust has changed over cosmic history. 

Tayyaba’s community engagement has includes TV and radio interviews, presenting at community events, participating in school visits and projects, and Homeward Bound program. Dr Zafar was awarded PhD from Copenhagen University, Denmark in 2011 and is currently a Lecturer at Macquarie University.