In 2021 I should obtain a PhD in astrophysics, from work conducted at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

What did I do?

For four years I studied bright flashes of light we occasionally saw at radio wavelengths, called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). But there was a catch - nobody knew what was causing them! I worked together with the APERTIF team in the Netherlands to establish the properties of these FRBs and to unravel their mystery...

How did I approach it?

To understand the FRB population, we needed to know which parts of the population we aren't seeing. I developed a code base called frbpoppy to model intrinsic FRB populations, model selection effects and simulate the resulting observations.

Who did I work with?

During my PhD I worked under the supervision of Joeri van Leeuwen, with the occasionally help from Michiel van der Klis. Liam Connor helped with formulating and testing ideas, Leon Oostrum with coding conundrums, and Emily Petroff with general discussions.


My thesis, entitled "Studying Fast Radio Bursts through Population Synthesis", can be found here.


Authors Title Year Publication
D.W. Gardenier Studying Fast Radio Bursts through Population Synthesis 2021 PhD Thesis, University of Amsterdam
D.W. Gardenier and J. van Leeuwen Multi-dimensional population modelling using frbpoppy: magnetars can produce the observed Fast Radio Burst sky 2021 Astronomy & Astrophysics
D.W. Gardenier, L. Connor, J. van Leeuwen, et al. Synthesizing the repeating FRB population using frbpoppy 2020 Astronomy & Astrophysics
L. Connor, J. van Leeuwen, ..., D.W. Gardenier, et al. A bright, high rotation-measure FRB that skewers the M33 halo 2020 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
L. Connor, M.C. Miller, D.W. Gardenier Beaming as an explanation of the repetition/width relation in FRBs 2020 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
L.C. Oostrum, Y. Maan, ..., D.W. Gardenier, et al. Repeating fast radio bursts with WSRT/Apertif 2020 Astronomy & Astrophysics
D.W. Gardenier, J. van Leeuwen, L. Connor, et al. Synthesizing the intrinsic FRB population using frbpoppy 2019 Astronomy & Astrophysics
D.W. Gardenier, P. Uttley A model-independent comparison of the variability of accreting neutron stars and black holes 2018 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
J. van den Eijnden, A. Ingram, ..., D.W. Gardenier, et al. Inclination dependence of QPO phase lags in black hole X-ray binaries 2017 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
D.W. Gardenier A Model-Independent Comparison of Accreting Black Hole & Neutron Star Variability 2016 MSc Thesis, University of Amsterdam
D.W. Gardenier The Rapid Variability of the Black Hole Binary Cygnus X-1 2014 BSc Thesis, University of Amsterdam


Organisation Type Year
ACE x UvA Ventures Best startup pitch 2019
Leids Kerkhoven-Bosscha Fonds Travel grant 2017, 2018
Netherlands Astronomy Conference Honorable mention poster 2016, 2017, 2018
Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement Travel grant 2017
Anton Pannekoek Institute Master Symposium, 2nd Place 2016


Name Type Location Date
van Aula naar BinnenhofAttendeeOnline17 Feb 2021
FRB2020AttendeeOnline23-27 Mar 2020
Nova Fall SchoolAttendeeAmersfoort (NL)28-29 Jun 2019
Netherlands Astronomy ConferenceAttendeeGroningen (NL)27-29 May 2019
FRB2019TalkAmsterdam (NL)18-20 Feb 2019
FRB2019OrganiserAmsterdam (NL)18-20 Feb 2019
Advanced Programming SchoolAttendeeAnnecy (FR)4-8 Jun 2018
Netherlands Astronomy ConferencePosterGroningen (NL)14-16 May 2018
AstrofestTalkHoogeveen (NL)6 Mar 2018
Science at Low Frequencies IVTalkSydney (AU)11-15 Dec 2017
Swinburne UniversityGuestMelbourne (AU)6-8 Dec 2017
NOVA PhD Fall SchoolTalkGroningen (NL)9-13 Oct 2017
Pulsar Astrophysics: The Next Fifty YearsPosterManchester (UK)4-8 Sep 2017
Big data tools for physics and astronomyAttendeeAmsterdam (NL)19 Jun 2017
Netherlands Astronomy ConferencePosterNijmegen (NL)22-24 May 2017
Python in AstronomyTalkLeiden (NL)8-12 May 2017
SKA-NL Science MeetingAttendeeAmersfoort (NL)13 Apr 2017
FRBs: New Probes of Fundamental Physics and CosmologyPosterAspen (US)12-17 Feb 2017
AstroFestAttendeeMeppel (NL)18 Oct 2016
Astrostatistics and Data Mining Summer SchoolAttendeeHeidelberg (DE)12-16 Sep 2016
Netherlands Astronomy ConferencePosterNunspeet (NL)23-25 May 2016
The X-ray Spectral-Timing RevolutionGuestLeiden (NL)1-5 Feb 2016


SpeakerTEDxAmstelveenAmstelveen (NL)2020
Outreach activitiesPublic Campaign for the Dutch National Research AgendaRotterdam (NL)2019
SpeakerIMC Weekend SchoolAmsterdam (NL)2019
SpeakerPitch Night TEDxAUCollegeAmsterdam University College (NL)2019
SpeakerBSc OrientationU. of Amsterdam (NL)2017
Stargazing activitiesRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra: MultiverseAmsterdam (NL)2017
SpeakerStargazing EveningAmsterdam (NL)2017
SpeakerScience-Art Slam: Our Weird, Exotic UniverseAmsterdam (NL)2017
ArticleNaming the StarsBlind (journal, NL)2016
SpeakerMSc OrientationU. of Amsterdam (NL)2016
Stargazing activitiesAnton Pannekoek InstituteAmsterdam (NL)2015-2019
Astronomy activitiesFaculty Open DayAmsterdam (NL)2014-2019
Physics practicalsViva FysicaAmsterdam (NL)2012, 2013
AssistantEngineering TournamentArnhem (NL)2012
Physics practicalsPhysics FairAmsterdam (NL)2011-2013


Basic linux and codingCourseMScLecturerAug 2018 - Oct 2018
Insights in PythonTutorialBSc+LecturerJun 2018
Learning how to not break your softwareTutorialBSc+LecturerOct 2017
Basic linux and coding for Astronomy & AstrophysicsCourseMScTeaching assistantAug 2017 - Oct 2017
Using X-ray time-delays to get close to black holes and neutron stars (Bart van Baal)ThesisBScSupervisorMar 2016 - Aug 2016
Physics & Astronomy practicalsCourseBScTeaching assistantDec 2013 - Jan 2014