Meet the Astroquarks

WtG is hosted by Josh Colwell, Addie DoveJim Cooney, and Hannah Sargeant. All three workin the Physics Department and the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida . Josh and Addie study dust, rings, comets, moons, asteroids and planet formation, and they try to drag Jim into their planetary escapades, but his passion is cosmology. Recently, Hannah’s joined us as a permanent Quark. She studies lunar rocks and water samples. 


Josh Colwell, Founder of WTG
Show Alias: Strange Quark

Josh came to UCF in 2006 from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. As a Co-Investigator on NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn, he studied the structure and dynamics of Saturn’s rings and has led experiments that have flown on the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, suborbital rockets, parabolic airplane flights, and is the Principal Investigator of the Q-PACE CubeSat scheduled for launch in 2020.

In addition to his academic career, he’s also dipped his toe in Hollywood as an actor and comet advisor for the DreamWorks Animation picture “Deep Impact,” and has been a walker in “The Walking Dead” among other background acting activities. He is more frequently a runner than a walker, however, and only needs to cut off a couple of minutes per mile to be competitive at the highest levels. He also believes that the answers to our most important questions can usually be found in Star Trek ?

If you’re interested in reading more about Josh’s research, click here to see a compiled list of all his publications on Google Scholar! 

Addie Dove, Co-Host of WTG
Show Alias: Charm Quark

Addie has two main areas of research: studies of dust dynamics in planetary systems in order to understand dust processes on planetary surfaces and planet and ring formation; and studies of dust charging and plasma interactions with planetary and spacecraft surfaces. She is particularly interested in these topics because understanding these phenomena is key to successful planetary exploration.

She explores these processes through experiments in the Center for Microgravity Research labs at UCF and on research flights with parabolic airplanes (e.g. ZERO-G‘s G-Force One), suborbital vehicles, the International Space Station, and CubeSats.

Addie co-hosts the podcast Walkabout the Galaxy and has been featured on TV shows such as “NASA’s Unexplained Files,” and other podcasts. She sees education and outreach as essential components of her goal to educate and inspire. You can find more about her research projects here!

Jim Cooney, Co-Host of WTG
Show Alias: Top Quark

  • PhD in Physics from the University of Florida (UF)
  • Physics TA of the Year Award, UF 1999-2000
  • Campus-Wide Graduate Student Teaching Award, UF 1999-2000

Dr. Cooney received a BA in Physics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1997, a Masters in Science Teaching and a PhD in Physics from University of Florida in 2001 and 2004. His principle area of research is cosmology and the large-scale structure of the universe, though he also worked with #StrangeQuark Josh Colwell analyzing data from the NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn.

His work in cosmology focuses on understanding the distribution and evolution of dark matter on the universe’s largest scales. He is a highly decorated instructor, winning numerous teaching and advising awards, and currently serving as Associate Undergraduate Advisor in physics at UCF. In addition to Co-Hosting the light-hearted astronomy podcast, Walkabout the Galaxy, Cooney has done many invited lectures and radio guest spots.

You can learn more about his research at:


Hannah Sargeant, Co-Host of WTG
Show Alias: Up Quark

  • PhD in Planetary Science from the Open University
  • Forbes 30 Under 30 2020
  • TEDx Speaker
  • Trustee of the Breaking Ground Trust

Dr. Sargeant received a BSc in Physics from the University of Sheffield in 2013, a PGCE in Physics and Mathematics from Loughborough University in 2014, an MSc in Space Exploration Systems from the University of Leicester in 2015, and a PhD in Planetary Science from the Open University in 2020. Her research is focussed on lunar resources, with a particular interest in accessing and utilising water and oxygen on the Moon.

Hannah conducts lab-based research to test experiments designed to extract lunar resources from simulated lunar materials and Apollo soil samples. She designed a water extraction experiment to be conducted by the ProSPA instrument on the Luna-27 mission to the Moon. Hannah is also interested in understanding the lunar surface environment and modelling lunar dust to better mitigate damage to rovers and spacesuits.

Having previously trained and worked as a high school science teacher, Hannah is passionate about continued outreach and education. She delivers talks to school groups and amateur space societies, and regularly provides commentary on space news for international outlets. If you’re interested in knowing more about Dr. Hannah Sargeant click here