Academic Staff

Prof. Omar Almaini
Personal Homepage
  Omar’s homepage
University Profile
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 79 01
E-mail
  omar.almaini

Omar's research is focused on the formation and evolution of galaxies in the distant Universe. A particular interest is to understand why the most massive galaxies suddenly cease their star formation at early times, and to understand the growth and influence of supermassive black holes. He leads the Ultra Deep Survey, the deepest infrared survey ever undertaken over such a large area of sky.

Prof. Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca
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Publications
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Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 951 62 30
E-mail
  alfonso.aragon

Alfonso works in the field of extragalactic astronomy, focusing on how galaxies form and transform. His work combines detailed studies of local galaxies with observations of the galaxy population at intermediate and high redshifts.

Dr. Steven Bamford
Personal Homepage
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University Profile
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 748 40 54
E-mail
  steven.bamford

Steven is primarily interested in the links between the morphology, star-formation and assembly histories of galaxies, and particularly the competition between internal and environmental processes in producing the present-day galaxy population. He studies galaxy morphologies in large surveys both visually, via the Galaxy Zoo project, and quantitatively, by developing novel techniques to decompose galaxy structures.

Dr. James Bolton
Personal Homepage
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University Profile
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 951 51 32
E-mail
  james.bolton

Jamie’s research focuses on the physics of the intergalactic medium and the epoch of reionisation. He uses cosmological simulations performed on some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to investigate the interplay between galaxies and gas in the early Universe.

Prof. Christopher Conselice
Personal Homepage
  Christopher’s homepage
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 951 51 37
E-mail
  conselice

Prof. Conselice's research is centred on understanding the history of galaxy formation and evolution and its relationship to cosmology and the formation of stars and life in the Universe. Prof. Conselice has lead many surveys including the GOODS NICMOS Survey as well as the REFINE project. He uses multiple techniques and measurements including galaxy luminosities, masses, merger histories, and morphologies to trace the formation and evolution of galaxies. To do this he uses telescopes as diverse as the VLT, Keck, Palomar, Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer. He also is leading programs to understand the dark matter evolution of galaxies and the origin of dwarf galaxies in nearby groups of galaxies. Furthermore he investigates the relationship between galaxy formation and cosmology as well as the origin of stars and life on extrasolar planets.

Dr. Simon Dye
Personal Homepage
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 748 4055
E-mail
  simon.dye

Simon works in the field of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. His main area of research is the study of galaxy evolution. In particular, he is interested in determining how dark matter evolves in galaxies by exploiting the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. He also uses multi-wavelength surveys which span from the UV to the sub-millimetre, to measure the formation and evolution of stars in galaxies. On the theory side, he develops new statistical techniques for use in cosmology.

Dr. Meghan Gray
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Publications
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Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 73 15
E-mail
  meghan.gray

Meghan's research combines galaxy evolution with a long-standing interest in large-scale structure. In particular, she employs observations of massive galaxy clusters to understand the physical processes that transform galaxies in dense environments. She is an enthusiastic science communicator, and is a regular contributor to Sixty Symbols and Deep Sky Videos YouTube channels.

Dr. Nina Hatch
Personal Homepage
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 8812
E-mail
  nina.hatch

Nina researches the formation of galaxies and clusters of galaxies in the distant Universe. She uses the world’s most powerful telescopes to observe galaxies and clusters caught in the process of forming, and uses computer simulations to interpret these observations.

Prof. Michael Merrifield
Personal Homepage
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Publications
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Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 951 51 86
E-mail
  michael.merrifield

Mike primarily investigates the nature of nearby galaxies with a particular interest in their dynamical properties, seeking to use the motions of gas and stars in these systems to understand how they formed. He has a strong interest in scientific outreach, helping to found the award-winning Sixty Symbols YouTube channel and setting up a spin-out company, Crystal Nebulae, which produces laser-cut crystal glass sculptures of astronomical objects such as the galaxies he studies.

Prof. Frazer Pearce
Personal Homepage
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Publications
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Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 951 51 60
E-mail
  frazer.pearce

Frazer specialises in the theory of the formation of structure in the Universe. In particular he models the evolution of clusters of galaxies using some of the worlds largest parallel supercomputers. He also has interests in X-ray emission from clusters and the feedback of energy due to supernovae explosions.

Post-doctoral Researchers

Dr. Amelia Fraser-McKelvie
Personal Homepage
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University Profile
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  amelia.fraser-mckelvie

Amelia's research focuses on galaxy evolution in the local Universe. She uses passive spiral galaxies to examine non-traditional quenching methods that cease star formation in a galaxy without destroying internal structure. Using the MaNGA IFS survey, she is also investigating ways to determine the properties of different components of galaxies, including bulge and disk regions. This will enable a better understanding of how galaxies evolve and grow to how we see them in the present day.

Dr. Ulrike Kuchner
Personal Homepage
  Ulrike’s homepage
University Profile
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 14
E-mail
  ulrike.kuchner

Ulrike's research explores pathways and timescales needed to reconstruct the buildup of the galaxy population we see today. She is particularly interested in identifying the physical processes responsible for the evolution of galaxy disks and bulges with cosmic time and environment, and how their evolution relates to their mass, star formation rate, and chemical composition. She concentrates her research on the evolution of galaxies in clusters and filaments to investigate the importance of pre-processing, cluster-specific phenomena in comparison to internal processes. As part of the EUCLID, WEAVE and CLASH collaborations, her work uses high-quality observational data as well as simulations, and increasingly makes use of super-computers and (deep) machine learning to find solutions for exploiting future extra-large surveys.

Having obtained an additional degree in fine arts, she is also actively working on the inter- and transdisciplinary approach of combining art and science as a means to investigate new ways of answering common questions.

Dr. Nan Li
Personal Homepage
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University Profile
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Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  nan.li

My name is Nan Li. Currently, I am a research fellow at the Centre for Astronomy and Particle Theory. I work on simulations of gravitational lensing, including strong and weak lensing in galaxy clusters, and galaxy-galaxy strong and weak lensing. These simulations are used to investigate the properties of dark matter and dark energy, via measuring arc statistics in galaxy clusters, lensing effects on the morphological features of galaxies. At the moment, in preparation for the upcoming large-scale sky surveys, e.g., Euclid, LSST, and WFIRST, my primary focus is on applying machine technique to astrophysics and cosmology.

Dr. David Maltby
Personal Homepage
  David’s homepage
University Profile
  Link
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 15
E-mail
  david.maltby

David works with Omar Almaini on the Ultra Deep Survey. His research interests focus on the morphological evolution of distant galaxy populations and the properties of recently-quenched galaxies.

Dr. Julian Onions
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  julian.onions

Julian works with computer simulations of large fractions of the universe to understand trends in galaxy formation and evolution. Investigating the tools that help us form and analyse such simulations such as halo finders, tree builders and semi-analytic models. He also does a number of outreach activities, giving talks to astronomy societies and other interested groups such as rotary and U3A, as well as working with schools and scouts/guide groups. He also helps with the teaching of undergraduates in some of the astronomy courses.

Dr. Rebecca Smethurst
Personal Homepage
  Rebecca’s homepage
University Profile
  Link
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  rebecca.smethurst

Becky’s research is focused on galaxy evolution, specifically what causes the shut off of star formation in galaxies. She is particularly interested in the effects of the central super massive black hole on the star formation rate, a phenomenon known as AGN feedback. She is also a member of the Galaxy Zoo team, tying in the dependance of galaxy morphology on how the star formation stops. As the newly minted Ogden Trust Sixty Symbols fellow and an enthusiastic science communicator, Becky also presents science interest videos on the Sixty Symbols YouTube channel.

Post-graduate Research Students

Jake Arthur
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 64 00
E-mail
  jake.arthur

Jake works with Frazer Pearce. His research focuses on simulations of galaxy clusters.

Rachel Asquith
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  rachel.asquith

Rachel works with Omar Almaini and Frazer Pearce. Her reseach focuses on comparing the results of semi-analytic models with observations.

Rachana Bhatawdekar
Personal Homepage
  Rachana’s homepage
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  rachana.bhatawdekar

Rachana works with Prof. Christopher Conselice on the Hubble Frontier Fields project. Her research focuses on finding the first galaxies in the Universe using clusters as gravitational lenses, and studying their properties such as mass functions, luminosity functions and star formation rates.

Ting-Yun Cheng
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  ting-yun.cheng

Ting-Yun works with Prof. Christopher Conselice and Prof. Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca. Her research focuses on analysing Dark Energy Survey (DES) data through using Machine Learning to investigate galaxy morphology.

Lizzie Elmer
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 19
E-mail
  elizabeth.elmer

Lizzie works with Omar Almaini and Michael Merrifield. Her research focuses on using variability to identify Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in the Ultra Deep Survey (UDS) field.

Alex Griffiths
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 64 00
E-mail
  alex.griffiths

Alex works with Prof. Christopher Conselice, investigating compact galaxy groups as potential gravitational lenses. His research is focused on determining the best targets for upcoming JWST observations in order to study the first galaxies.

Charutha Krishnan
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 64 00
E-mail
  charutha.krishnan

Charutha works with Omar Almaini and Nina Hatch on galaxy evolution, focusing on AGN activity as a function of environment and redshift.

Joel Miller
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 64 00
E-mail
  joel.miller

Joel works with Jamie Bolton and Nina Hatch on detecting and studying protoclusters. His research focuses on using Lyman-alpha absorption in quasar spectra to trace the intra-protocluster gas, in both hydrodynamical simulations and observational data.

James Pearson
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 15
E-mail
  james.pearson

James works with Simon Dye, trying to use convolutional neural network (CNN) machine learning to detect strong galaxy-galaxy gravitational lenses in simulated images, in preparation for future surveys, notably by the LSST (operational in 2019) and the Euclid Telescope (launching in 2020).

Tom Peterken
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 62 81
E-mail
  thomas.peterken

Tom works with Mike Merrifield and Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca. He is using the SDSS-MaNGA survey to research into the structure of low-redshift spiral galaxies.

Miguel Socolovsky
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 15
E-mail
  miguel.socolovsky

Miguel works with Omar Almaini and Nina Hatch on the effect of environment on galaxy evolution at high redshift using the UKIDSS Ultra-Deep Survey (UDS). He focuses on the study of the mass function and morphology of different galaxy populations across environments.

Martha Tabor
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 14
E-mail
  martha.tabor

Martha works with Mike Merrifield and Alfonso Aragón-Salamanca on the MaNGA integral field survey. Her work focuses on decomposing the bulges and disks of early type galaxies using their spectra and looking at the properties of the individual components.

Mehdi Walji
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 62 81
E-mail
  mehdi.walji

Mehdi works with Nina Hatch, on high redshift protoclusters. His primary focus is the effects of environment on galaxy properties.

Amy Whitney
Publications
  ADS Listing
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 64 00
E-mail
  amy.whitney

Visitors

Secretary

Wendy Brennan
University Profile
  Link
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 95 15163
E-mail
  wendy.brennan

Wendy Brennan is the secretary of the Centre for Astronomy & Particle Theory. She deals with all general and administrative enquiries.

System Support

Phil Parry
University Profile
  Link
Phone
  (+44) (0) 115 846 88 13
E-mail
  phil.parry

Phil Parry is the Research Support Officer for the Centre for Astronomy & Particle Theory.