Professor Anna Scaife

Anna Scaife


Turing AI Fellow

Partner Institution


Anna is currently Professor of Radio Astronomy at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and academic Co-Director of [email protected] at the University of Manchester. Previously she has worked at the University of Southampton (UK), the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (Ireland) and the University of Cambridge (UK). She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree from the University of Bristol.

Research interests

Anna’s Turing AI Fellowship focuses on AI for discovery in data intensive astrophysics. In this era of big data astrophysics, the use of machine learning to extract scientific information is essential to successfully utilise facilities such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) telescopes. These telescopes have data rates so large that the raw data cannot be stored and even using the compressed data products will require a super-computer.

Anna will target the development of new machine learning approaches which address particular aspects of SKA scientific processing, such as:

  • How do we deal efficiently with such large data volumes and in real time?
  • How do we incorporate information from archival astronomical data into our machine learning?
  • How can we ensure the correct statistical treatment of biases introduced into our data by observational and astrophysical selection effects?
  • How can we ensure that the rarest and most extreme astrophysical objects are not discarded or missed in our processing?

Achievements and awards

In 2014, Anna was honoured by the World Economic Forum as one of thirty scientists under the age of 40 selected for their contributions to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering or technology in areas of high societal impact. In 2017 she was awarded the Blaauw Chair in Astrophysics (prize chair) at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands for excellence in research, broad knowledge of astronomy and an outstanding international status in astronomy. In 2019, Anna received the Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, awarded for outstanding invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques.