​Prof Rachel Webster AO

BSc(Hons), PhD, FAA
Professor Rachel Webster AO is a previous Chair and current AAL Board Director.

Special responsibilities – Member of the Executive Remuneration Committee, a member of the Project Oversight Committee (APOC), a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee (until April 2020) and AAL’s representative on the AAT Council. Until 24 February 2020 – AAL Board Chair.

Prof. Rachel Webster is a Professor at The University of Melbourne in the School of Physics where she leads the Astrophysics research group. She has had a stellar career teaching and researching astronomy for over 20 years.

Originally gaining her doctorate thesis at Cambridge University, she has spent productive years honing her skills in Canada at the University of Toronto, both teaching and doing research. Her work has been internationally recognized with internationally prestigious scholarships. She was also the inaugural AIP Woman in Physics Lecturer. She is a key member of an international consortium involving Australian, American, Indian and New Zealand astrophysicists to help design and build a new low frequency radio telescope (Widefield Array) at Mileura in Western Australia aiming to detect the first luminous sources in the universe.

Rachel is a member of the International Astronomical Union, and an Honorary Fellow of the Astronomical Society of Australia, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Victoria, and the American Astronomical Society. Rachel is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Rachel was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2020 Australia Day Honours List, in recognition of her ongoing distinguished service to education in the field of astrophysics, to astronomical research, and to young women scientists.