Meet the Team

Alastair Leith FOASA B.Sc (hons) – CEO and Instructional Designer

Alastair leith is himself a qualified tutor holding both the Award in Education and Training, TAQA Assessors qualification, and the TAP Cert. He is also an e-learning consultant and media designer. He does not tutor as much but does have a hand in course writing and design. Also running, supporting, and administering the VLE.
He has also been an amateur astronomer for over 30 years. He is founder of the Online Astronomy Society Academy which he started in the wake of the passing of his hero, Sir Patrick Moore. The happy union between his passion for Astronomy and training. When not running OASA and OAS Alastair is interested in History, cooking, gardening, and Wing Chun Kung Fu.
He has a book coming out on Spectroscopy by beginners and has assisted Lucy Hawkings on several book projects. He is also a qualified First Aid Instructor and runs a consultancy training first aid. He lives in Northampton (not far from Shaun Badmin) with his wife, Cathy, and three children, Alexander, William, and Abigail

His  astronomical interests are particularly in Solar Astronomy, Spectroscopy, outreach and education (you probably guessed that!). He has written and created much of the material on the academy including;

The Astronomy for Beginners
Solar Astronomy with a PST
Spectroscopy for beginners
Astrophysics and Space Exploration (co written with Dr Nigel Marshall)
Imaging with a webcam

Dr Nigel Marshall (GCSE and Astrophysics & Space Science course manager and tutor)

Nigel's photoDr Nigel Marshall has taught Astronomy at GCSE level for the last 20 years.  He is also an experienced examiner having been Principal Moderator for Coursework and, more recently, Chief Examiner for the subject.  His book GCSE Astronomy – A Guide for Pupils and Teachers is now in its fourth, full-colour edition and it has become the established textbook for students of GCSE Astronomy; it attracts favourable 5-star reviews on and is frequently top of their best-seller list for educational books in Astronomy and Cosmology.

 Shaun Badmin FOASA – Senior GCSE Astronomy tutor

OAS_PhotoHi my name is Shaun Badmin and I will be joining the OAS Academy team in the East Midlands region. I live in Northampton with my fiancé and my 3 future step-children. I am originally from Plymouth and I lived there for 42 years before moving to the East Midlands to find work after being made redundant from the Civil Service. I worked in Higher Education for 6 years lecturing in Professional Studies, Industrial Relations and Trade Union Studies in Plymouth and I currently work as a Safety and Resilience Manager for a Local Authority part time.

In my spare time I am currently studying towards a BSc(Hons) in Natural Sciences with the Open University following the Astronomy and Planetary Science Pathway, I also am a keen astronomer and possess two telescopes, several cameras and have decided to put my landscape photography skills to use in astrophotography this year. I am a member of the British Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, I also hold a Higher Education Certificate In Astronomy and Planetary Science with the Open University, amongst many other things.

I love science and sci-fi, am a bit of a geek and have to admit to liking trains, Doctor Who, Star Trek, reading (physics and astronomy) and the history of Bletchley Park (home of the codebreakers) as well as Marvel and comics. I love music, although I play badly, I do like listening to it and I am a bit of a goth at heart. Finally got the chance in 2013 to meet Sir Patrick Moore and it is a moment I will never forget in my life, a true inspiration. I look forward to working with you all

Robert Ratford FOASA – GCSE Astronomy tutor

Lynée Zajac Beck – Senior Instructional Designer and Project Manager GCSE Astronomy tutor

Lynée Zajac Beck is an online teacher, instructional designer and professional development facilitator. Lynée specializes in creative, effective and efficient approaches to learning and training. Her experience includes eLearning design and development as well as expertise in various learning management systems.


Lynée has been in education since 1997 teaching in brick and mortar, online and blended classrooms. She is licensed in Secondary Science, Social Studies and Mathematics in Colorado, Washington State, Missouri, Arkansas and Georgia.

She grew up near Detroit then moved to Tucson to twirl baton and study science at the University of Arizona. She relocated to Colorado early in her teaching career and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Colorado. She is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in instructional design.

Legal Department: Richard Murtagh LLB, LLM, Barrister (Unregistered)


We would like to welcome Richard Murtagh. Richard is a recently-trained Barrister. He undertook a general law degree with the Open University, before completing a Master of Laws at the University of Birmingham.

Richard’s hobbies include physics and astronomy. Therefore, as a side-venture, he is studying GCSE Astronomy with us and hoping to do our Astrophysics course next.

Richard joined the Academy as Head Legal Adviser, and is assisting (pro bono) with all legal aspects of our business. Already, his appointment has led to successful resolution of an on-going matter. Richard will continue to assist with our legal structure going forward.

He told the Academy:  “I love space, and I love the law. Combining the two is a privilege. Who knows… perhaps, one day, I’ll be the first astro-lawyer!”

Instructional Design Team

Cindy Germaine – Instructional Designer

I am a graduate student enrolled in the Master’s program in Instructional Technology Systems at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I completed the graduate certificate program in Instructional Technology in December of 2015 and am pursuing an M.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology with a major in training and development. In my “free” time I play the trumpet in 2 mini drum corps, one of which is hired by the NBA Charlotte Horners as an entertainment group and the other is a local drum corps.

Domenic James – Instructional Designer

I am attend The University of Central Florida. Prior to this opportunity with Online Astronomy Society Academy  I have had an internship with an instructional design company called Metova. I love the process of designing and creating a tool that can allow for people to continue to learn about their love for astronomy and science. In my free time I follow sports very closely especially the NBA and the NFL I would like to consider myself a “sports nut”.I also enjoy the beach, boating, fishing and anything that has to do with being outside.