Most people start out in astronomy looking up at the stars as a child. That was not me.
I grew up moving all over the world. My father was in DFAT (Australian Foreign Service) and we lived in Madrid, Spain, Bangkok, Thailand, and NYC, USA, with interludes of suburban Canberra, Australia, all before I had graduated high school. I graduated in NY from UNIS, after undertaking the International Baccalaureate program. I then moved back to Australia for University.
Every kid goes through a dinosaur phase. Mine just happened to last until my mid 20's. For my first degree I undertook a Bachelor of Science at the University of Southern Queensland. There I met Dr. Steve Salisbury and helped the UQ Dinosaur Lab dig up fossil dinosaurs, fish, and crocodiles in Western Queensland. Life then hit, so I went and sold computers and mobile phones for a couple of years, ending up as a science teacher at Elonera Montesori School. This is where my life as an astronomer/planetary scientist starts.
In order to progress as a teacher, I needed to complete some extra training in a field other than biology. I couldn't bring myself to do chemistry, and pure physics didn't interest me, then I found Swinburne Astronomy Online. I have always enjoyed Science Fiction, so I thought I'd give it a go. I took one course, found it fun, so I took a couple more. A year later I found that I had upgraded to a Masters and was enjoying every minute. In the meantime, my wife Rebecca Buchholz and I had moved to Boulder, CO for her Post Doc in Atmospheric Chemistry, and I started going to colloquia at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Through discussions and on my own initiative, in 2017 I started my remote PhD with Prof. Jonti Horner from the Centre for Astrophysics at University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Dr. David Nesvorny from SwRI.
Nowdays, I still live in Longmont, CO with Rebecca and Dora (our cat), with trips back to Australia, around the US and the world. When I'm not researching, I enjoy internet spaceships (Eve Online), board games and sci-fi in all their forms. I also continue to learn swing dance and badly play the Arabic drum.