Institute of Astronomy

Prof George P Efstathiou


Personal Homepage

Office: Kavli K15
Office Tel: (01223) 337530
More Info (Internal)



Professor Efstathiou has wide interests in theoretical and observational cosmology and has contributed to studies of large-scale structure in the Universe, galaxy formation, dark energy and the cosmic microwave background radiation. He is a member of the Science Team for the European Space Agency Planck Satellite, which launched in 2009.  Efstathiou is Chair of the Cambridge Planck Analysis Centre, which is developing methods to analyze the data that has been collected by the Planck satellite.  The satellite’s two-year mission succeeded in measuring the anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation with unprecedented accuracy.


His first postdoctoral appointment was at the Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley. He spent the next eight years at the Institute for Astronomy at Cambridge, beginning as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant, then in 1984 taking a position as a Senior Assistant in Research and eventually becoming Assistant Director of Research.

In 1988, Efstathiou was appointed to the Savilian Chair of Astronomy at Oxford University, where he served as Head of Astrophysics for 6 years during this tenure. He returned to Cambridge in 1997 and continues to hold the position of Professor of Astrophysics (1909).  He has served as Director of the Institute of Astronomy from 2004.  In 2008 the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at Cambridge was established and Efstathiou was appointed the first Director of the new Institute between 2008-2016.


George Efstathiou received his B.A. in Physics from Keble College, Oxford University in 1976, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Durham University in 1979.

Awards and Prizes

In 1990 Efstathiou  was awarded the  Maxwell Medal and Prize a principal award for outstanding contributions to theoretical physics made annually by the Institute of Physics.  At the same time was awarded the Vainu Bappu Prize of the Astronomical Society of India.  In 1994 received the Astrophysics Prize of the Bodossaki Foundation, followed by the Robinson Prize in Cosmology in 1997.  In 2005 the American Institute of Physics awarded Efstathiou, along with his collaborator Simon White ,the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics in recognition of their pioneering research into evolution of structure in the Universe from the earliest times to the present epoch, as examples of outstanding work in the field of astrophysics.  In 2011, Efstathiou received the Gruber Cosmology Prize from the Peter and Patricia Gruber FoundationThis was awarded jointly with Marc Davis, Carlos Frenk and Simon White for their pioneering work on ‘cold dark matter’ and use of numerical simulations to model and interpret the large-scale distribution of matter in the Universe.  Efstathiou received the Nemitsas Prize, which for 2013 was awarded in the research field of Physics and granted for “his pioneering use of computer simulations of structure formation in the universe, surveys of large-scale structure in the Universe, and for theoretical and observational investigations of the cosmic background radiation”. More recently, he was awarded the 2015 Royal Society Hughes Medal for his work on the early Universe.


Inn 1980 Efstathiou was elected to   a Junior Research Fellowship at King’s College, University of Cambridge and to a Senior Research Fellowship in 1983.  He has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1983.  In 1994 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 1995.  He held a Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) senior fellowship between 1994 and 1999. He served on PPARC Council between 2000 and 2004 and on the Royal Society Council between 2015-2018. He is currently a member of the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) Science Board. Since his return to Cambridge in 1997, Efstathiou has held a Professorial Fellowship at King's College.

Page last updated: 10 September 2021 at 22:38