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Anna Heffernan

Postdoc Research Fellow Lvl Ii

School of Mathematics and Statistics

University College Dublin, School of Mathematics and Statistics

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I am currently a Marie Curie fellow at University of Florida and University College Dublin, where I work with Profs. Bernard Whiting, Clifford Will and Adrian Ottewill. My research involves using analytical perturbative methods in black hole physics, alternative theories of gravity as well as more experimental gravitation like that required for global navigation satellite systems. Previous to my current position, I worked as a research fellow in fundamental physics at the European Space Agency, in their Advanced Concepts team - a think tank for ESA which seeks to identify and research scientific developments that can or will impact future space systems. Previous to my time at ESA, I carried out my PhD in General Relativity, "The Self-force Problem: Local Behaviour of the Detweiler-Whiting Singular Field", at University College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. Adrian Ottewill. The self-force is the leading method for tackling gravitational waveform modelling in the scenario of a binary black hole with extremely different masses; a main target for LISA, the future space-based gravitational wave detector to be launched by ESA. During my PhD, I also completed MSc. courses which led to my Higher Diploma in computational sciences. Prior to my PhD, I received my BSc. in Theoretical Physics from University College Dublin, where I received first class honours and finished first in my class. I followed this with a MSc. in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces from Imperial College London. There I completed my dissertation, The Decoherence Histories Approach to Quantum Theory under the supervision of Prof. J. Halliwell, finishing in the top 4 of my class with a distinction.


  • Research Fellow in Fundamental Physics
    European Space Agency1 Aug 2013 - 31 Jul 2015
  • Postdoctoral Associate
    University of Florida, Department of Physics, Gainesville, United States1 Sep 2015 - 31 Mar 2016


  • PhD General Relativity
    University College Dublin, Ireland
  • HDip. Computational Science
    University College Dublin, Ireland
  • MSc. Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces
    Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
  • BSc. Theoretical Physics
    University College Dublin, Ireland