Cherry Ng -- Radio Astronomer

PulsarFast Radio BurstSETIInstrumentation I am a researcher at LPC2E/CNRS in Orléans, France. During my PhD study, I discovered over 100 rapidly spinning neutron stars with the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. I then worked on the Canadian CHIME telescope, using it to detect and study “Fast Radio Bursts”, a new astrophysical mystery that involves short bursts of radio waves that have come from far outside our Milky Way galaxy. My hunting effort continued in the area of technosignature (SETI). I was the project scientist for the MeerKAT and the Very Large Array (VLA) SETI searches, where we attempted to answer the question of whether there are other advanced extraterrestrial civilizations in the Universe.
See my work

Research projects

Breakthrough Listen

Breakthrough Listen is a 10-year, $100-million initiative that aims to search for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). I work with the BL team and am jointly affiliated with the SETI Institute. My main role as a project scientist is to commission interferometric SETI searches on the MeerKAT telescope in South Africa and the Very Large Array (VLA) in the U.S.


CHIME is a recently commissioned radio telescope in British Columbia, Canada. Its innovative design consists of 4 half-pipe-like cylinders placed side by side, spanning a huge collecting area equivalent of 5 hockey arenas. I use CHIME to detect Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) and study pulsars. I work with the LW lab on the deployment of the CHIME correlator and signal processing algorithms in high performance computing on GPU.


Image credit: David Champion
NANOGrav is the North American Pulsar timing array collaboration that aims to detect Gravitational Waves (GWs) through the monitoring of an ensemble of millisecond pulsars. I work on high precision pulsar timing analysis, in order to maximize NANOGrav's sensitivity towards GW detections.


Using the Parkes Radio telescope in Australia, we conducted the High Time Resolution Universe (HTRU) survey, an all-sky blind search for new pulsars. I have personally discovered 60 pulsars which at the time equated to 2.5% of the entire known population.

If you are a student and interested to work on these projects with me, do get in touch!

Publication list

Last updated: December 2023

Below is a selection of work I have led or majorly contributed to.
For a complete list of the papers I have co-authored, see ORCID, ResearchGate or Google scholar.


An invited talk by the Square Kilometre Array Office (SKAO) Speaker Series on my personal journey as a female astronomer of colour.
A YouTube interview by the IAA-CSIC in Granada, Spain, on my role as the SKA Cradle of Life Science Working Group co-chair.
I was interviewed by Radio France to talk about Fast Radio Burst in the CQFD show (Nov, 2023). Listen to the podcast (in French) here.
I gave a public talk at the European Heritage Open Door Day 2023 at the Nançay Radio Observatory on the topic of pulsar timing array.
Honoured to be named one of the "rising stars in Astronomy" by the magazine "Astronomy". Read the article here.
Participation at the DECLICS event where we went on "speed meetings" with the students at the Jean Zay High School in Orléans to share what is it like to be a researcher.
The CRAM science festival (April 5, 2019): I was invited to talk about how we study the expansion of our Universe and hunt for mysterious Fast Radio Bursts with the CHIME telescope.
The hugely popular Astro on Tap T.O. (Nov 22, 2019): telling an audience of 500 about how CHIME unravel the mystery of Fast Radio Bursts.
SETI Institute panel discussion (Oct 22, 2020) on single dish vs array telescopes. You can re-watch it on this YouTube link.
Public talk at the David Dunlap Observatory (Nov 7, 2020) on Fast Radio Burst discoveries with the CHIME telescope (YouTube link).
Featured by the Australian podcast Astrophiz hosted by Brendan O'Brien. Listen to it here.


  • My github page
  • The kotekan correlator framework: I have led the development of the beamforming modules.
  • Online talk videos

  • Lecture on FRB observable properties
  • Public talk on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Using the MeerKAT & VLA Telescope
  • Public talk on the Unravelling the Mysterious Fast Radio Burst with CHIME
  • Presentation slides

  • URSI 2023 @ Sapporo, Japan: Low frequency fast transients with NenuFAR
  • PNHE 2023 @ Paris, France: Fast Radio Bursts: Observations and theories
  • FRB 2021 @ virtual: Lecture on FRB observable properties
  • SF2A 2021 @ virtual: Fast Radio Burst with CHIME
  • Research experiences

    2023–now Staff researcher (Chargé de recherche) - Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l’Environnement et de l’Espace (LPC2E), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)
    2021–2023 Project Scientist – Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto (U of T), Canada and jointly at the SETI Institute and the UC Berkeley SETI Research Center, USA
    2017–2021 SOSCIP TalentEdge Fellow – Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto (U of T), Canada
    2015–17 Post-doctoral position – The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada
    2010–15 PhD Student – Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR), Germany
    Summer 2009 Pre-graduate trainee – European Space Astronomy Centre, Spain
    Summer 2008 Research Assistant – University of London Observatory, UK


    2010–15 PhD in Astronomy – Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR), Germany
    2006–10 MSci Natural Sciences (Astrophysics major) – University College London (UCL), UK

    Academic Services

    2023 onwards Council member of the Action Spécifique SKA-LOFAR
    2023-2026 Science & Engineering Advisory Committee for the SKA observatory
    2023-2024 Exercice de prospective des moyens en Astronomie Committee
    2022-2024 Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Cradle of Life Working Group co-chair
    2022-2026 National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) User Committee
    2022-2025 ngVLA Science Advisory Council Committee
    2021 NRAO Program Review Panel FY2021
    2020-2022 Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Time Assignment Committee
    2021-2023 NRAO Telescope Proposal Science Review Panel
    2021 Dunlap Instrumentation Summer School Planning Committee

    Academic Scholarships & Funding

    2022 Vector Institute – Mothers and Machine Learning Scholarship
    2021 ngVLA Community study award
    2017-2020 SOSCIP TalentEdge Fellowship
    2016-17 University of Toronto – Dunlap Visitor Funding
    2006-10 UCL Undergraduate Pathfinder Scholarship
    2009-10 UCL Old Students’ Trust
    2008-09 UCL Alumni Scholarships
    2006-08 UCL Departmental ‘Sessional Prize’


    2022 Astronomy magazine – rising star in Astronomy
    2019 Dunlap Institute “Dundies award” – media superstar
    2017 URSI Young Scientist Award
    2015 3-minute UBC Postdoc Slam - 2nd prize and the "People's choice" prize
    2014 Best poster award, WE-Heraeus seminar
    2010-15 5.2 million CPU hours on the CAASTRO computer cluster
    2010-19 303 telescope hours on the Parkes telescope (PI for project P630, P860)
    2010 Dean’s List Academic Award – UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

    Computing & Software

    Programming C++, C, OpenCL, python, shell
    Pulsar tools Sigproc, Presto, Psrchive, Tempo(2)
    OS macOS, Windows, Linux
    Others Latex, GIMP, Wiki, EXCEL, d3, HTML, CSS


    Cantonese Native
    English Fluent
    Mandarin Fluent
    French Intermediate
    German Beginner
    Spanish Beginner