Pauline Barmby received her BSc in Physics and Astronomy in 1995 from the University of British Columbia, followed by her MSc and PhD in Astronomy in 1998 and 2001 respectively from Harvard University. Her PhD thesis, on the star clusters belonging to the Andromeda galaxy, involved many trips to telescopes and much more snow than most people associate with Arizona.
From 2001-2007 Pauline Barmby was a staff astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, working as part of the team responsible for building and testing the IRAC camera on NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
In 2007, she joined Western University’s Department of Physics & Astronomy as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2013. In 2015, Barmby took on the role of Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies within the Faculty of Science. She was named Acting Dean of Science in 2017.
Since 2009, Barmby has supervised the research of 16 students and 2 Post-Doctoral Fellows. She has been an active supporter of science outreach throughout her career, and has delivered 35 public presentations supporting 22 community organisations, contributed as a Blogger for Science Borealis, and Scientist-in-Residence for the London Children’s Museum.
Barmby has served on proposal selection committees for international telescopes as well as the board of directors of the Canadian Astronomical Society.
Her research uses telescopes all over the world and in space to capture detailed images of nearby galaxies in order to determine how their stars, gas, dust, and black holes affect each other. She is interested in the use of computer data-mining techniques and community-developed software to facilitate knowledge extraction from astronomical data.