Postgraduate research

Physics and Astronomy


Professor Richard Alexander

  • Planet formation
  • Protoplanetary discs
  • Star formation
  • Super-massive black hole growth

Professor Martin Barstow

  • White dwarfs
  • Sirius-type binaries
  • Interstellar medium
  • Stellar atmosphere modelling

Professor Andrew Blain

  • Formation and evolution of galaxies
  • Complete luminosity of galaxies
  • Use and details of gravitational lensing, again focussed mainly on its effects on infrared sources
  • Investigating the nature of the ultra luminous galaxies

Dr Matt Burleigh

  • Search for transiting exoplanets
  • White dwarfs
  • Sirius-type binaries

Dr Sarah Casewell

  • White and brown dwarfs

Dr Mike Goad

  • X-ray astronomy
  • Active Galactic Nuclei

Professor Jon Lapington

  • Detector physics
  • Space instrumenation
  • Picosecond phton timing
  • Astroparticle physics

Dr Paul McMillan
  • Galaxy formation, structure, and dynamics 
  • The Milky Way and Galactic archaeology 
  • Models and simulations of galaxies

Professor Sergei Nayakshin

  • Planetary/Stellar formation modelling
  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • X-ray observations 

Professor Paul O'Brien

  • Investigating compact objects in the universe
  • Black holes in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB) at all wavelengths across a wide range in redshift
  • Sources of gravitational waves 

Professor Mervyn Roy

  • Quantum dots
  • Scanning tunnelling microscopy
  • Electronic structure of semiconductor nanostructures
  • Graphene photodetectors

Dr Rhaana Starling

  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • High energy transients
  • Active Galactic Nuclei
  • X-ray surveys

Professor Nial Tanvir

  • Gravitational wave sources
  • Gamma-ray bursts
  • Galaxy evolution and reionization

Professor Simon Vaughan

  • Active galactic nuclei (AGN)
  • Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and black hole X-ray binaries in our Galaxy
  • Probes of strong gravity, time series astronomy, Bayesian data analysis in astronomy, and dust-scattering from GRBs
  • Astrostatistics, especially time series analysis

Professor Mark Wilkinson

  • Galaxy formation
  • Properties of dark matter using observations of the satellite galaxies which orbit the Milky Way
  • Dynamical models of the Milky Way

Earth Observation Science

Dr Michael Barkley

  • Satellite trace gas retrieval algorithms
  • Global mapping of atmospheric composition and sources using satellites
  • Differential Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS)
  • Integration of field and aircraft measurements with complex models and satellite data
  • Global and regional modelling of atmospheric chemistry
  • Biogenic VOCs emissions and their impact on climate 

Dr Jeremy Harrison

  • Quantitative spectroscopic laboratory measurements for atmospheric remote sensing of trace gases
  • Atmospheric radiative transfer modelling
  • Monitoring trace gases in the atmosphere using satellite instruments
  • Comparisons of satellite-derived atmospheric trace-gas distributions with models
  • Atmospheric chemistry

Dr Robert Parker

  • Climate and Earth System Model evaluation
  • Remote sensing and land surface modelling of the carbon cycle
  • Improving our understanding of the global methane budget
  • Developing Digital Twins of the Earth System using remote sending, climate modelling and artificial intelligence

Dr Adam Povey

  • Physics of aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and their interactions
  • Radiative transfer for lidar and visible/infrared imagery
  • Optimal estimation retrieval methods and assessment of uncertainties 

Professor John Remedios
  • Utilising Earth Observation for climate and environmental science
  • Linking surface change with atmospheric composition
  • Improving the uptake of global-scale satellite land surface temperature

Dr Joshua Vande Hey

  • Atmospheric aerosol measurement and low cost optical sensors
  • Environmental data for healthcare
  • Indoor air quality measurement and management
  • Environmentally sustainable transport

Planetary Science

Professor Richard Ambrosi

  • Development of instrumentation and detector systems for planetary science and terrestrial applications
  • Exploitation of high-energy cosmic ray and solar radiation with planetary surfaces
  • Space nuclear power systems
  • Radioisotope thermoelectric generators, heater units and novel radioisotope containment systems

Dr Chrysa Avdellidou

  • Physical properties of small bodies and impacts.
  • Exploration of asteroids and planetary surfaces

Professor Nigel Bannister

  • Space instrumentation development
  • Mission analysis
  • Observational astronomy
  • Technology developments for terrestrial applications

Professor John Bridges

  • Early Solar System processes
  • Origen of asteroids and comets
  • Evolution of Mars
  • Surface of planetary bodies, particularly the evolution of the Mars surface and climate

Professor Emma Bunce

  • Giant rotating magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn
  • Dynamic auroral emissions in the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn

Dr Jennifer Carter

  • Solar wind charge exchange X-ray emission at Earth & other Solar System bodies
  • Distribution of exospheric neutral hydrogen
  • Solar wind magnetospheric ionosperic coupling
  • SMILE with associated ground & space-based solar-terrestrial physics

Professor Leigh Fletcher

  • Characterising planetary atmospheres via infrared remote sensing
  • Ground-based planetary imaging and spectroscopy
  • Dynamics and composition of giant planets and their satellites
  • Design and implementation of future planetary missions

Professor Ian Hutchinson

  • Space instrumentation for planetary exploration and astrophysics
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • X-ray spectroscopy
  • Planetary surface science (Mars, Europa)
  • Astrobiology

Dr Suzanne Imber

  • In situ spacecraft measurements of magnetic field and plasma data
  • Ground-based radar measurements of the ionospheric plasma velocity using the SuperDARN radar network
  • Images of the auroral ovals taken from polar orbiting spacecraft

Professor Mark Lester

  • Ground-based radar measurements of Earth’s ionosphere
  • Mars’ ionosphere and solar wind interactions

Professor Steve Milan

  • Magnetospheric and ionospheric physics within the solar system
  • Solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling
  • Coordinated ground- and space-based studies of the aurora
  • Solar wind transients and imaging the inner heliosphere

Dr Henrik Melin

  • Observations of the giant planets from ground-based telescopes and spacecraft in the infrared and the ultraviolet
  • Upper atmospheres and ionospheres of the giant planets 
  • Coupling between the lower and upper atmosphere
  • Radiative transfer modelling and modelling of ionosphere emissions

Dr Jonathan Nichols

  • UV observations of the auroras (‘northern lights’) of Jupiter and Saturn
  • Modelling of the magnetospheres of gas giants
  • Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, exoplanets and brown dwarfs

Dr Beatriz Sánchez-Cano

  • Ionospheres of unmagnetized planets (Mars, Venus) and solar wind interactions
  • Planetary Space Weather
  • Solar wind in situ spacecraft measurements of magnetic field and plasma data
  • Propagation of solar wind transients in the heliosphere 

Dr Emily Jane Watkinson

  • Space nuclear power systems 
  • Radioisotope/nuclear fuels research for space
  • Radioisotope containment research
  • Radioisotope thermoelectric generators, heater units and containment systems.

Dr Darren Wright

  • Dynamics of the terrestrial magnetosphere, ionosphere and ring current during geomagnetic storms
  • Ionospheric plasma flows and the high energisation of ring current plasma
  • Heavy ion outflow from the upper atmosphere resulting from various geomagnetic conditions

Professor Tim Yeoman

  • ULF waves
  • Solar wind-magnetosphere coupling
  • Magnetospheric substorms

Space Projects and Instrumentation

Dr Adrian Martindale

  • Space instrumentation and BepiColombo to Mercury

Professor Mark Sims

  • Astrobiology
  • Novel uses of instrumentation and technology to address science problems.
  • Space instrumentation development
  • Advanced instrumentation for diagnosis in medicine

Dr Emily Jane Watkinson

  • Space nuclear power systems
  • Radioisotope/nuclear fuels research for space
  • Radioisotope containment research
  • Radioisotope thermoelectric generators, heater units and containment systems

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