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Institute of Astronomy



My research interests encompass a broad range of topics from the
content and structure of our own Galaxy's halo through to the
detection of the most distant known quasars. A common theme is the
development of new statistical analysis techniques which are then
applied to very large data sets to study object populations of current
theoretical interest in astrophysics.

Much of my recent research has employed spectra from the Sloan Digital
Sky Survey (SDSS) database.  Current projects include the use of
intervening absorption lines in quasars to provide a more complete
understanding of galaxy evolution by understanding how gaseous
material surrounding galaxies is related to the star formation
histories and global properties of galaxies. Developing a better
understanding of quasar outflows and how feedback associated with the
presence of central massive black holes influences the evolution of
galaxies is another topic of interest.

In the Institute of Astronomy I enjoy making contributions to the research activity that extend from Near Field Cosmology through to studies of galaxies and quasars close to the epoch of reionisation.


  • 2012-2013: Director, Institute of Astronomy
  • 2008-2011: Deputy Director, Institute of Astronomy
  • 2007-present: Professor of Observational Cosmology and Astrophysics, Institute of Astronomy
  • 2000-2007: Reader in Observational Astrophysics, Institute of Astronomy
  • 1995-2000: John Couch Adams Astronomer, Institute of Astronomy
  • 1992-2000: Assistant Director of Research, Institute of Astronomy
  • 1990-1992: Senior Assistant in Research, Institute of Astronomy
  • 1987-1990: Royal Society University Research Fellow, Institute of Astronomy
  • 1984-1987: Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College and Institute of Astronomy
  • 1982-1984: SERC Fellow, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

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