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Deanne Coppejans

How did your journey into Physics begin?

I have always been interested in science and curious about how the natural world works. When I was looking into different careers I came across an article on biophysics research. It was a combination of all the subjects that I enjoyed most in school, so I signed up for a BSc Physics. During my undergraduate degree I became more excited about astronomy as I read more about the universe and the extreme objects that astronomers study. In particular, I was fascinating with black holes. There were also so many exciting opportunities opening up for astronomers in my home country (South Africa) because of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA, the largest planned radio telescope). Thanks to support from the SKA I was able to switch to a career in astrophysics.

What is your favourite thing about your research area?

There are so many fascinating objects and phenomena in the universe. Astrophysics gives us an opportunity to look beyond the physics that we see on an everyday basis on Earth. I really love that I can spend my time observing the universe and investigating these exotic phenomena.

Why do you think it is important to highlight women and gender minorities in science? What does it mean to you?

There are many intelligent, motivated people out there who would make incredible discoveries and valuable contributions to science. Initiatives like Women in Science days are important to spread the word that science is an exciting career option for women. They support scientists and help bring future generations of female scientists into the field.

Deanne Coppejans

Deanne Coppejans

Email: deanne.coppejans(at)