Dr Kate Russo
Having experienced eight Total Solar Eclipses in some of the most fascinating and far-flung locations on Earth, she is excited to be working as Eclipse Tour Leader for The Independent Traveller.
Professionally, Kate is a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Course Director of a Doctoral training programme at Queen's University Belfast. She has over 17 years’ experience of working in hospital settings in the NHS, and works to improve the quality of life for those with chronic medical conditions. She participates on international steering committees to develop services for medical conditions, is regularly invited to speak and run training workshops internationally, and is an active qualitative researcher specializing in the experience of illness.
Since seeing her first total eclipse in 1999, Kate has been fascinated by the human response to totality. Over the last few years she has been researching this in more detail, undertaking surveys and interviews with hundreds of people. Her first book Total Addiction: Life of an Eclipse Chaser describes what it is like to experience totality and why eclipse chasers are so passionate about their hobby. This book includes the late Sir Patrick Moore as one of nine featured eclipse chasers.
The Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 in Far North Queensland tells the story of how the community prepared and experienced the eclipse. The book features personal stories from locals and visitors, and includes stunning photographs from award winning eclipse photographers. There is no other book out there that captures in this detail what it is like to experience a Total Solar Eclipse, and is especially meaningful as the region is where Kate is originally from. Kate is currently writing her third book about the eclipse experience.
Kate is a member of the Irish Astronomical Association. She is often invited to speak about the eclipse at astronomical societies, and loves eclipse outreach activities that involve preparing communities for a total eclipse. In 2013 Kate was awarded an Outstanding Alumni Award from James Cook University, Australia, in recognition of the impact that she has had on local, national and international audiences.