Professor John Hearnshaw

John has had an illustrious international career as a professional astronomer and author of academic books and publications. John’s contribution to international dark sky preservation in New Zealand and through IAU and UNESCO was recognised by the International Dark-Sky Association with a prestigious award in 2020.

Nalayini Davies

The unique blend of Nalayini’s professional career in economic development and her passion for astronomy has benefitted New Zealand communities in pursuing dark sky protection, maintenance and operation and the astronomic community through her work with Astronz.

Alan Gilmore

Recognition by NZ post in the stamp series titled Space Pioneers and having asteroid 2537 Gilmore named after him pay tribute to Alan’s observational contribution to astronomy – discovery of 41 minor planets, comet P/2007 Q2 and tracking of NEOs, near Earth objects. Alan’s science communication contributions include monthly charts used by astronomical societies throughout New Zealand and Nights’ Science talks on Radio New Zealand.

John Drummond

John is an exceptionally versatile astronomer with observational contribution to the discovery of around 20 exoplanets and to over 100 peer reviewed academic publications, astrophotographs featured in stamps by NZ Post and by various publications, positions as President of astronomical societies, teaching of astronomy and operating a successful astro-tourism business.

Fraser Gunn

Fraser lets his work speak for him and reach far and wide. His iconic astrophotographs have been featured in the media, magazines and books and every person arriving at Christchurch airport is treated to them. He has recorded the beauty of New Zealand’s iconic Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve through timelapse videos, astrophotographs and also scientific observations at Mt. John Observatory.

Gareth Davies

As an artist with a successful corporate career, Gareth feels and communicates the beauty and science of the night sky in the most enjoyable and accessible way to those new to “looking up”, beginners interested in astronomy and the general public. This includes hands-on outreach sessions in various New Zealand locations, regular podcasts and articles and as the Director of the Waikeke Island Observatory.

Victoria Campbell

Kaikōrero matua Victoria Campbell works for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in the language team Kotahi Mano Kāika, Kotahi Mano Wawata, and has a passion for te reo me ōhona tikaka, mātauraka Māori including Māori astronomy, and the natural world.

Dr Stephen Chadwick

Stephen Chadwick moved to Himatangi Beach, in rural Manawatu, from England in 2004.
“I’d never really noticed the night sky before, having mainly lived in large cities in the Northern Hemisphere, but seeing the heart of the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds high in the sky on my first night in New Zealand blew me away”.

Dr Pauline Harris

Pauline Harris is from the tribes Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaka and Ngāti Kahungunu. She has a background in physics – completing her PhD and Master’s at Canterbury University, centred around gamma ray bursts, high-energy neutrino production and inflationary cosmology. She now focuses on mātauranga Māori associated with Māori astronomy and traditional Māori calendars called Maramataka. 

Adrien Vilquin Barrajon

Journalist by trade, Adrien spent most of his professional career in the public outreach of astronomy. 

He managed the visitor’s center of the Nançay Radio Observatory, then helped developing a stargazing venture in La Palma (Canary Islands, home of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory) before settling in Tekapo, where he manages the night activities for the astrotourism company Dark Sky Project