Dr Sarah White is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rhodes University, funded by the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), and is based in Cape Town. She uses multi-wavelength data to study the role of active galactic nuclei (AGN) in galaxy evolution and is particularly interested in their radio emission, having studied them at all radio luminosities (both ‘radio-quiet’ and ‘radio-loud’) and at multiple radio frequencies (70 MHz to 20 GHz).
She is passionate about encouraging both women and people of colour in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and was instrumental in SARAO implementing a double-blind review process for its MeerKAT Open Time proposals. (This aspect was missing from the first Open Time call in 2019, but is necessary to avoid biases with respect to gender, race, career stage, and institution.) More recently, through membership of the Royal Astronomical Society, she has become a committee member of the European Astronomical Society’s Inclusion Working Group.
Prior to moving to South Africa, Sarah did her first postdoc at the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy in Perth, Australia. There she served on the Development Committee — which oversees initiatives connected with inclusion and diversity — and provided recommendations for recruitment procedures. During the final year of her PhD at the University of Oxford she was a key organiser of the first Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) in the UK, which aims to encourage more women to pursue physics beyond their undergraduate degree (into industry or academia).
Sarah is proud of her mixed white and Indo-Caribbean background, being born in Guyana and brought up in the UK. She is a keen climate activist (which includes activity as part of https://astronomersforplanet.earth), loves cricket, and thinks that Newlands must be one of the most beautiful grounds in the world!