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2018 Fellow

Jielai Zhang

Astronomy, Astrophysics

PhD Institution
University of Toronto
Postdoctoral institution and lab

Noble Group

University of Oxford

Next Steps

OxGrav Postdoctoral Fellow at the ARC Centre for Gravitational Wave Discovery
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Jielai was born in China before moving to Australia where she grew up and studied for her first degree. She completed her PhD in Canada at the University of Toronto in astrophysics and astronomy, studying galaxy evolution and formation, and low surface brightness imaging. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Jielai pivoted from astrophysics to medical imaging, with the aim of bringing the strengths of both fields together.

Jielai completed her Fellowship placement with Prof Alison Noble at the University of Oxford. She produced refined atlases of the developing fetal brain using 3D ultrasound data alongside algorithmic processes to learn about the brain development of fetuses effected by congenital heart disease or were born small for their gestational age. Jielai’s science has the potential to improve ante-natal monitoring and fetal outcomes.

Now, Jielai continues her work as an OzGrav Postdoctoral Fellow for three years closely working with the Deeper, Wider, Faster program where she will use the image processing techniques established during her Schmidt Science Fellows placement year on the data coming out of a new field of astronomy. Jielai will be searching for the fastest bursts and explosions in the Universe never before seen.

Jielai has a strong commitment to international scientific collaboration and has played a key role in the development and organization of the West Africa International Summer School for Young Astronomers.

As part of our We are Schmidt Science Fellows film series, watch Jielai’s video and read her feature – A Flash of Discovery – How medical imaging techniques can be used to study the Universe here.