a film photograph of Storm, a white person with short ginger hair, smiling in front of a chinatown shopfront, holding 2 cameras. phot by Daniel Velez @djvelezc.

Storm Colloms


Welcome! I'm Storm, a first year PhD student at the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow, working on gravitational wave astrophysics. In particular my work focuses on using gravitational wave data to understand the origins of stellar mass black holes and neutron stars.

I am also very fond of photography, sci-fi, storytelling and cats. In between that, i spend my time thinking about the intersections between science and art, what it means to be a person, and how to spend my time collaborating, creating, being inspired and inspiring! I try to mesh all of this in with DEI (diversity, equality and inclusion) and outreach efforts where I can, and am always on the lookout for people who I can help make academia a better place with.

an illustration of 2 wizards walking along the horizon with a binary star system spilling flecks down to them.


a line illustration of a binary black hole merger by storm. the black holes are spiralling into each-other while swirls and blankets and waves are tossed between and around them.

PhD - Inferring the origins of compact objects (University of Glasgow, October 2022 to Present)
My research involves understanding the populations of compact objects remnants, neutron stars and black holes, comparing gravitational wave data to simulations of millions of these binaries to learn more about how they formed. Through seeing how changes in the input physics effect the resulting distribution of compact object mergers, these population synthesis simulations can help constrain the uncertainties of binary evolution. My work invovles using machine learning techniques to interpolate between population synthesis models and rapidly evaluate the outcomes of many simulated binary populations.

Master's Project (University of Edinburgh)
I worked on statistically analysing quasar variability, and modelling this variability as shot noise. I compared these models to data from observations of thousands of quasars, and found evidence for multiple timescales of variability present in quasar accretion disks. I made a public summary for my work in the form of a Twine-based hypertext story, which you can read here!

LIGO SURF 2021 (Caltech)
I worked on improving the search methods for finding gravitationally lensed gravitational waves. Gravitational lensing can create multiple images of gravitational waves, which can hide some of these signals behind the noisy data, and no credible lensed events have been found yet (correct as of 2021)! I imposed a condition to constrain the search to the sky location of a super-threshold event, as the images will come from approximately the same place in the sky. At the end of my project it still required some testing, but once that gets done and implemented this could mean a lot for finding sub-threshold GW signals! I wrote an astrobite on my work which you can read here!

Other (University of Edinburgh, University of Tokyo)
I have also looked at exoplanet transits; identifying planetary mass objects via photometric analysis; and dynamical formation of planetary systems with tides using N-body code.


I am an amateur photographer, taking pictures of things I see, places I travel (I am priviledged to have been to as many), and my friends. I've been using a digital mirrorless camera since 2019 in conjunction with a 35mm film camera since 2020, often stomping around cities and up hills with both. Come talk to me about photography, I love meeting other photographers and helping people learn more about it! Below is a mix of film and digital photographs I have taken over the past few years.