Dr Kate Russo is an Author, Psychologist and Eclipse Chaser. Born and bred in North Queensland, Australia, she studied psychology at James Cook University, Townsville followed by Griffith University, Brisbane. She left Australia after completing her training in Clinical Psychology in 1997, although she completed an advanced doctorate degree at University of Hull, England.
For the last 15 years, Kate has settled in her adopted home of Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is Assistant Course Director of a Doctoral Training Programme in Clinical Psychology at Queen's University, Belfast. She has also worked as a Clinical Psychologist for over 17 years in the National Health Service, and specialises in helping people with acute and chronic medical conditions live a fulfilling life. She is also an Independent Consultant, and provides training and workshops to medical teams across Ireland. She is on international steering committees and has contributed to several projects aimed at improving the lives of those living with health problems. She is regularly invited to speak at National and International events. She is also an active researcher, specialising in phenomenological research, and is the Regional coordinator of Interpretative Phenomenological Research in Northern Ireland.
Kate saw her first total eclipse in 1999. Since then, she has vowed to experience as many total eclipses as she can. She has travelled around the world to experience totality, mixing her love of travel with this incredibly intense experience. She has now seen eight total eclipses and two annular eclipses, and has also travelled to see the amazing aurora – northern lights.
In recent years, she has turned her hand to researching and writing about the eclipse experience. She published her first book Total Addiction: the Life of an Eclipse Chaser in 2012. In this book, she interviewed nine eclipse chasers, including the late Sir Patrick Moore, to describe what it is like to see a total solar eclipse, and to understand why eclipse chasers are so passionately dedicated to chasing eclipses for their whole lives.
In November 2012 she was lucky enough to experience her eighth Total Solar Eclipse on home turf. She relocated to Australia for six months and was in the region before and after the eclipse. During that time, she was in demand with local, national and international media based upon her research and ability to communicate about the eclipse experience. She appeared on radio, newspaper, magazines, and on TV, and was featured on The Today Show, and Sunrise. She undertook public outreach talks about the eclipse at schools, universities, clubs, groups, community centres, conferences, and even at markets.
In recent years, Kate has also expanded her role as Eclipse Advisor. She is leading her first specialist eclipse tour with The Independent Traveller to the Faroe Islands in 2015, and has linked in to this remote island archipelago to help prepare the community for this rare astronomical event.
Her second book Totality: The Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 in Far North Queensland, will be published shortly. Kate is already working on her third book about the eclipse experience, called Transformed by the Shadow, which describes how the first time eclipse experience can transform people's lives. In this book, she will be recounting stories from interviews she undertook before and after the eclipse in November 2012.
Earlier this year, Kate was awarded an Outstanding Alumni Award from James Cook University, Townsville, in recognition of the impact of her many areas of work.
Link to her book in store: Totality: The Total Solar Eclipse of 2012 in Far North Queensland.
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