Rebecca Robinson builds models of the Sun, our life-giving star

"I hope my contributions will help increase our understanding of the relationship between the Solar magnetic field and atmospheric heating" - Rebecca Robinson.

Rebecca Robinson started her PhD in September of 2019 at the Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics (RoCS). She is working on the Whole Sun project with prof. Mats Carlsson. Rebecca studied physics and astrophysics at Michigan State University, and has done astrophysics research projects with Ohio Wesleyan University, Clemson University, and University of Colorado at Boulder. She was also the resident astrophysicist for Badlands National Park during several of their summer seasons.

Drilling ice cores on the Myrdalsjökull glacier in Iceland. Photo credits: R. Robinson

From Icelandic glaciers to the hot Sun

– For my MSc, I studied glaciology at the University of Iceland which gave me a chance to visit my own planet for a change ;) After defending my MSc, I traveled the world for 14 months before landing a PhD position at UiO, says enthusiastic Rebecca.

To better understand the relationship between the Sun’s photospheric magnetic field and heating in the Sun’s atmosphere, Rebecca will need observations and models to work very well together.

– What are you going to study and how?

– I’m looking at high-resolution satellite observations of the Sun’s magnetic field, which will help me understand how to statistically represent the magnetic field in simulations generated by the numerical model Bifrost, explains Rebecca.

Eventually, she will collaborate with other institutions to link different computer models together in order to create a comprehensive model of the entire Sun.

Enjoying simple life in Oslo

Working hard at RoCS. Photo: R. Robinson.

Nostalgic of the Nordic countries since leaving Iceland, Rebecca was excited at the prospect of doing her doctorate in a place with a similar vibe.

– I ended up in Oslo because working for RoCS is the best fit for me in terms of my career goals, liveability, and professional growth, confesses Rebecca.

– What is your experience at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics so far?

– So far, I really enjoy life in Oslo and working with ITA. Working here makes it simple to build a community, make friends, and find people who want to do fun things like grab dinner, visit the sauna, or go climbing.

– Any expectations?

– I expect to have the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, and to have the ability to lay a foundation for my continuing career with the training I receive here.

Published Jan. 13, 2020 9:56 AM - Last modified Jan. 7, 2021 12:05 PM