Institute of Astronomy

Dr Manda Banerji


My research interests lie broadly in the fields of observational cosmology and galaxy formation and evolution. A key aim of my research is to bring together multi-wavelength data from very large "wide-field" optical and infrared digital sky surveys in order to discover new populations of luminous galaxies and accreting supermassive black holes (quasars) in the distant Universe. Using follow-up spectroscopic and photometric observations of these newly discovered systems, I then try and understand the physical processes going on within them e.g. star formation, accretion, inflows and outflows, all of which modulate the galaxy formation process. Currently I am actively working on new optical data from the Dark Energy Survey and infrared data from the VISTA extragalactic imaging surveys. I am Principal Investigator for the new VISTA VEILS survey, which has been allocated almost 1200 hours of telescope time on the VISTA telescope between 2017 and 2020. Within the Dark Energy Survey collaboration I co-lead the Galaxy Evolution & Quasar Science Working Group.

I am also interested in studying galaxies and quasars at X-ray, far infra-red and millimeter wavelengths, exploiting instruments such as XMM-Newton, SCUBA-2, ALMA and the VLA in order to better understand both supermassive black hole accretion and the distribution of dust and molecular gas in galaxies.

I am actively involved in several next-generation extragalactic wide-field spectroscopic surveys such as 4MOST and VLT-MOONS. In particular, I am working on target selection strategies for both high redshift galaxies and quasars for these upcoming spectroscopy experiments.

Selected papers

The Discovery of Gas-Rich Dusty Starbursts in Luminous Reddened Quasars at z~2.5 with ALMA: Banerji, Carilli, Jones et al. 2017

Cold dust emission from X-ray AGN in the SCUBA-2 Cosmology Legacy Survey: dependence on luminosity, obscuration and AGN activity: Banerji et al. 2015c

Heavily Reddened Type 1 Quasars at z > 2: Evidence for Significant Obscured Black Hole Growth at the Highest Quasar Luminosities: Banerji, Alaghband-Zadeh, Hewett & McMahon 2015b

Combining Dark Energy Survey Science Verification Data with Near Infrared Data from the ESO VISTA Hemisphere Survey: Banerji et al. 2015a:

The Spectral Energy Distribution of the z=7.1 Quasar ULASJ1120+0641: Barnett, Warren, Banerji et al. 2015

Photometric Redshift Analysis in the Dark Energy Science Verification Data: Sanchez et al. 2014

ULASJ1234+0907: The Reddest Type 1 Quasar at z=2.5 Revealed in the X-ray and Far Infrared: Banerji, Fabian & McMahon 2014:

Heavily Reddened Quasars at z~2 in the UKIDSS Large Area Survey: A Transitional Phase in AGN Evolution: Banerji et al. 2012

A Comparison of Six Photometric Redshift Methods Applied to 1.5M Luminous Red Galaxies: Abdalla, Banerji et al. 2011

PHAT: Photo-z Accuracy Testing: Hildebrandt et al. 2010

Photometric Redshifts for the Dark Energy Survey & VISTA: Implications for Large Scale Structure: Banerji et al. 2008



2018 - : Royal Society University Research Fellow, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

2016 - 2018: STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

2014 - 2015: Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge

2012 - 2014: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University College London

2009 - 2012: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge


2006 - 2009: PhD in Astrophysics, University College London

2002 - 2005: 1st Class M.A. (Cantab), Natural Sciences (Physics), University of Cambridge

Awards and Prizes

Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2017)

STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship (2015)

UCL Jon Darius Prize for Outstanding Postgraduate Research (2009)

Runner-up, Institute of Physics Very Early Career Women in Physics Competiton (2009)

Page last updated: 30 September 2017 at 21:44