Institute of Astronomy
University of Cambridge
Hoyle Building, Room 49
Tel: (44) 1223-765844
Fax: (44) 1223-339910
Email: robk ast.cam.ac.uk
P.A: Jeannette Gilbert
Tel: (44) 1223-337538
Email: jyg ast.cam.ac.uk
University of Arizona
Steward Observatory, Room N314
Fax: (1) 520-621-5153
Tel: (1) 520-621-5145
Email: apj as.arizona.edu
I am currently working at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy as the Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy and Director of the Institute. I also recently served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Astrophysical Journal.
Prior to this, I was a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory (1988-2005), and an Assistant/Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota's Department of Astronomy (1980-1988). I earned my Ph.D. degree in Astronomy at the University of Washington, and after graduating worked at the Hale Observatory (now called the Carnegie Observatories) and Caltech as a Carnegie Fellow. Here's my Curriculum Vitae.
I have authored and co-authored more than 250 research articles and several books, mainly on astrophysics. Click on the "Publications" link for a complete list of publication and a brief description of my books.
The broad objectives of my research are to use detailed observations of nearby galaxies to quantify their star formation and evolutionary properties, and to understand the underlying physical nature of the Hubble sequence of galaxy types. I also have worked to develop diagnostic methods for characterizing galaxy evolution at high redshift, and to better understand the physical processes that drive large-scale star formation and galaxy evolution. Another facet of my research program is devoted to calibrating the distance scale to galaxies and measuring the size and expansion rate of the Universe. At this time my research is concentrated on several large surveys of star formation in the local universe, including the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS), the 11 Mpc H-alpha and Ultraviolet Galaxy Survey (11HUGS), and a spectrophotometric survey of nearby galaxies (no acronym yet). For more information and links to these and other projects click on the "Research" link above.
Meet my research group! Since I just moved recently, my group of postdocs, students, and collaborators are spread across two continents at the moment. The Arizona group is still very large and active, including an optical/UV contingent and a core of the SINGS group. Apart from the normal one-on-one meetings, the entire group meets on a regular basis in the Steward conference room (or a local bar) to talk science (yes they really do work while they are downing a glass or two). I intend to continue the custom in Cambridge, and fortunately there appears to be no shortage of Pubs for the purpose.
In Arizona, I taught courses at all graduate and undergraduate levels. This link takes you to the most recent course on the structure and dynamics of galaxies that I have taught bi-annually with Dennis Zaritsky (and before that with Hans-Walter Rix, Willy Benz, and Simon White). At Cambridge I have a two-year sabbatical from teaching while I finish up my work with the ApJ. I have also supervised over a dozen graduate thesis students and several undergraduate research students. You can find information on many of them under the Research Group link. One of them (Sanae Akiyama) designed this website!
The Astrophysical Journal is one of the most prestigious research journals in the world in astronomy and astrophysics. Many of the greatest astronomical discoveries such as quasars, pulsars, neutron stars, black holes, solar and stellar magnetic fields, X-rays, and interstellar matter have been reported in this Journal.