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Biographies of Council Members

Members of Council have provided the following short biographies of themselves.




MA, PhD, FRAS, FInstP, CPhys. Director (part-time), International Space Science Institute, Switzerland & Emeritus Professor of Space Science, The Open University. RAS Council 1995-1998, RAS Vice-President 2009-2011; Institute of Physics Council 2013-2016; PPARC Council 2005-2009 ; Chair, ESA Solar System & Exploration Working Group 2014-2016 ; Chair, UK Space Agency Science Programme Advisory Committee 2012-2014 Special interests: Planetary science especially the study of surfaces, atmospheres, comets, cometary dust & cosmic dust by in-situ instrumentation (e.g. Giotto, Huygens, Rosetta). Space & science policy, education and public outreach.



B.A., M.A., PhD (Texas), FRAS. Professor of Astrophysics, Jeremiah Horrocks Institute, University of Central Lancashire (2001 - date). Formerly, Professor and Life Fellow, University of Cape Town, South Africa. RAS Council
(2012-2014). Kepler Mission Asteroseismic Science Consortium Steering Committee. Past President IAU Commission 27 on Variable Stars. Past ESO OPC panel chair. Multiple "postes rouges" (visiting scientist) Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France. Visiting Professor, Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Naini Tal, India. Multiple Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Senior Fellowships, Japan. Dual UK and USA citizenship; South African permanent resident. Special interests: Stellar astrophysics with special emphasis in asteroseismology. Is one of three co-authors of the fundamental textbook in this new field. Is primarily an observational astronomer with ~2000 nights of telescope time.



BSc (Hons), PhD, FRAS, FGS, FHEA. NERC Marine Facilities Advisory Board, NERC Peer review College (1999-2003; 2004-2007; 2013-present), NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility Steering Committee. Special interests: Accretionary processes of mid-ocean ridges, the flexure of the lithosphere under loading, plate erosion due to subduction, and the development of transform continental margins, working primarily in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Design and development of seabed instrumentation for Earth imaging applications.



BA/M.Sci (Cambridge), PhD (Princeton). FRAS, Member Institute of Physics, American Astronomical Society, American Physical Society. Professor of Astrophysics, University College London, Hubble Fellow (2004-2007), STFC Halliday Fellow (2007-2012). STFC Computing Advisory Panel, DiRAC Resource Allocation Panel (2012-2014), WMAP Science Team (2002-2006), Planck HFI Core Team (2009-), LSST DESC Collaboration Council (2015-)

Special Interests: Theoretical and observational cosmology; cosmic microwave background; large scale structure; early universe theoretical physics; stellar dynamics; galaxy evolution; statistical methods; numerical methods and supercomputing.



BSc PhD (Manchester) FRS, FRAS, FInstP. Poynting Professor of Physics and Professor of Helioseismology at University of Birmingham. RAS Council (1993 – 1996 and 2011 – 2014) Vice President (1996 – 1998), RAE 2008 and REF 2014 sub-panel member. Many years of interaction with Research Council committees. Awarded the Payne-Gaposchkin medal of the Institute of Physics. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015. Special Interests: My research interests are in the seismology of the Sun, and stars like the Sun is or will, in time, become. Solar data as gathered by the Birmingham-led BiSON network are providing fundamental insights into the working of the Sun. I am particularly interested in the development of the solar cycle and what it may tell us about the dynamo within the Sun. For stars, the Kepler mission has provided truly beautiful datasets that will keep us busy for many years. For the first time, we can make observations of the interiors of a wide range of stars and can do statistical studies of the evolution of our galaxy.




Investment Banker, Financial Consultant. Special Interests: I left scientific research over 25 years ago, so I cannot claim special interests. In my post-doctoral research at Amsterdam and Sussex I was a theorist with particular interest in processes producing soft x-rays.




B.Sc., Ph.D. student, Astrophysics Group, Keele University. Publicity Officer, Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA). Chairman, Shropshire Astronomical Society (SAS). Special interests: Structure and dynamics of the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds: mapping the tiny structures in the diffuse interstellar medium, using Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) to trace molecular material in the cold and diffuse interstellar medium.



B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., Professor of Planetary Science and Astrobiology, Birkbeck College London. Special interests: Planetary science, lunar geology, astrobiology, space exploration, interstellar medium, astronomy and planetary science education.



B.Sc. Ph.D., Reader in Solar Physics, University of Glasgow. Special interests: solar magnetism and activity, solar flares, particle acceleration. Secretary, Solar Physics Division of the European Physical Society, Editorial Board of Solar Physics, Member IAU Commission 10 on Solar Activity.





BSc (Leeds), PhD (Keele), FRAS, CPhys, FInstP, Professor of Astrophysics and Director, Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University. Previous positions held include PDRA (Keele), Post-Doctoral Staff Member (Los Alamos National Lab), SERC Advanced Fellow (Manchester), Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Professor (Central Lancashire) and I have been Assistant Provost for Research and held a PPARC/STFC Senior Fellowship at LJMU. Special Interests: Multifrequency observations and modelling of novae and related objects; circumstellar and interstellar dust; automated and robotic observing; astronomy education and public engagement.



BSc, PhD, FRAS, AAS and IAU full member. Lecturer in Astrophysics, University of Oxford, Official Fellow and Tutor in Physics, Wadham College. Previously JSPS Invited Fellow, Nagoya University, Visiting Scholar, University of California Berkeley, Hubble Fellow, Columbia University, Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden University. Officer, AAS Committee of the Division on Dynamical Astronomy, 2004-2006. Member, STFC Fellowships Panel, 2008-2010. Member, Quebec Government Fund for Research on Nature and Technologies panel, 2011-now. RAS "A" Group Achievement Award 2013. Special interests: Galaxy dynamics and interstellar medium. Structure, kinematics, stellar populations, formation and evolution of galaxies. Molecular gas distribution, kinematics, origin, physical conditions and star formation. Synergy between optical/near-infrared integral-field spectroscopy and radio/mm/sub-mm synthesis imaging. Currently involved in Atlas3D/SAURON and KMOS surveys.



BSc (Hons), PhD, FRAS; Director, Qsoft Ltd (1992-present), Committee (2008- present) and President (2012- present) of the Guildford Astronomical Society.  Special Interests: Solar system, orbital dynamics, asteroids and the orbits, structure & evolution of comets. Science education and public outreach.



BSc, MSc, PhD, FRAS, Professor of Astrophysics and Director, E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics, University of Hull.

Special Interests: Galactic archaeology, galactic chemical evolution, nucleosynthesis, stellar populations.



MPhys(Hons), PGCE, PhD, FRAS, MinstP. Research Assistant and
Ogden Science Officer, Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University. Special interests: Explosive transients, core-collapse supernovae, galaxies, star formation, outreach, science education, women in physics.



BSc, PhD, FRAS, Associate Professor of Space Physics/STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton. Special Interests: Planetary and astrophysical magnetospheres, Solar system science, physics and astronomy outreach, women in physics.



BSc (Hons) FCA FRAS, UK National Point of Contact for Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), Member of: British Interplanetary Society (BIS), UK Students for Exploration & Development of Space (UKSEDS), Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), Society for Popular Astronomy Special interests: Meteoritics, geochemistry, impact craters, astrobiology.




BSc, PhD, CPhys MInstP, FGS, FRAS; British Geophysical Association (BGA) Committee 1999-2011, 2014-present; RAS Council 2012-14; Ocean Drilling Program Working Group on Drilling the Seismogenic Zone, 1997-9.

Special interests: I am a geophysicist with a PhD in seismology and twelve years' experience as a university lecturer (1991-2002). At present I work for a government contractor as a seismologist involved in monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. I serve the BGA Committee as awards officer, having previously been Meetings Secretary, then Secretary.



BA, PhD, FRAS, Fellow of the Meteoritical Society; Head of Mineral and Planetary Sciences, Natural History Museum; Chair of the RAS Diversity Committee. Special interests: meteoritics, cosmochemistry, lunar science, small bodies, outreach.



BSc, DPhil, FRAS, FHEA, FInstP, CPhys. Head of Astronomy and Reader in Cosmology, The Open University. Co-lead of eMerlin gravitational lensing legacy survey and AGN working group of Herschel ATLAS key project; several other management/leadership roles in JCMT surveys and Euclid. Co-winner of Daiwa Adrian prize. Lead science consultant for BBC Bang Goes The Theory; consultant for BBC Stargazing Live. Author of Observational Cosmology (CUP) and co-author of two other books. Special interests: infrared and submillimetre extragalactic surveys, strong gravitational lensing, active galaxies, starburst galaxies, public engagement, higher education.



MSc and PhD in theoretical physics (University of Turin, Italy), Royal Society URF, FRAS. Professor of Astrophysics at University College London. Served on TAC panels Hubble and Spitzer, ESA EPRAT and STFC Exoplanet panels. Co-editor AAS-DPS ICARUS journal. NASA and ESA Research fellow in Caltech/JPL and IAP Paris. Awarded the Institute of Physics Moseley medal in 2011. Special interests: Since 2007, I coordinate a research team on extrasolar planets at UCL, trying to understand the chemical composition of planets in our Galaxy, how do they form and evolve and why they are so diverse. My research and my team are currently mostly funded by the Royal Society and by the European Research Council (programme ExoLights).



MA (Oxon.), MSc (Sussex), PhD (Leicester), FRAS, Professor of High Energy Astrophysics, University of Leicester & Head of X-ray and Observational Astronomy (XROA) Research Group; ESA's XMM-Newton Survey Scientist (1996-); Principal Investigator for the international XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre Consortium (1996-2013); ESA Astronomy Working Group (1996-2000); AstroGrid Lead Investigator for Leicester (2001-2009); STFC Astronomy Grants Panel (2010-2012); STFC Computing Advisory Panel (2010-2013); Chair of STFC DiRAC Oversight Committee; LSST:UK Consortium Board (2014-); Coordinator for the UK Team for ESA's Athena Mission (2014-). Special interests: space astronomy, high energy astrophysics, Galactic and extra-galactic X-ray source populations, X-ray surveys, AGN population studies, astronomical computing, large-scale scientific data processing and archives.