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Personal profile


Postgraduate Opportunities

There are severeal opportunities available for postgraduate study (PhD or MSc by Research) in the areas of extra-solar planets or time-domain astronomy.

For details on current projects in the area of extra-solar planet research please look at current JBCA exoplanet research.

Please contact me by email if you would like further information.

My group

Research Groups


I obtained a BSc degree in Astronomy from the University College, University of London in 1991 and a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London in 1995. I was a EU Marie Curie Fellow at Strasbourg Observatory from 1996-1998 and a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford from 1998-2001. I was a senior research fellow at Liverpool John Moores University from 2000 until 2004 when I became an STFC (then PPARC) Advanced Fellow. I moved to the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, in 2007 where I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy.

My current research focuses on the detection of cool exoplanets using microlensing as well as the study of the atmospheres of transiting exoplanets using transmission spectroscopy. I also do some work on developing game-theory based strategies for the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). I work with ground based optical and near-infrared telescope data as well as data from space missions such as Kepler, Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope. I lead the Exoplanet Science Working Group for the European Space Agency (ESA) Euclid space mission, which will launch in 2023. I am also Principal Investigator of the UK-Thai-Indian SPEARNET survey, which is using a ground-based global telescope network to undertake a large-scale study of exoplanet atmospheres.

In 2012 I was invited by NASA to serve as consultant to the Science Defintion Team for its final report on the design of the WFIRST mission (since renamed as the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope). In 2015 I was invited by NASA to serve on the selection panel for the Kepler K2 Microlensing Science Investigation Team. In 2022 I was invited by the US National Academies of Sciences to serve on its Committee for Astronomy and Astrophysics to review and recommend science time allocation for the NASA Roman mission. Roman is due for launch in 2026. I have co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers in astronomy.

Research interests

The detection of extra solar planets, time-domain astronomy and the structure of galaxies

My research interests involve both theoretical and observational studies of exoplanets and Galactic structure, using primarily the technique of gravitational microlensing.

At Manchester we have developed MaBulS, the World's foremost simulator of Galactic microlensing. The simulator has been used to help improve our understanding of the structure of the inner Galaxy, as well as to develop reference designs for future space-based exoplanet surveys. I co-lead the SPEARNET survey, in collaboration with colleagues at NARIT in Thailand, to study the atmopheres of exoplanets using transmission spectroscopy.

External positions

External examiner to MSc Astrophysics taught courses, Queen Mary University of London

15 Oct 201914 Oct 2023

Areas of expertise

  • QB Astronomy
  • extra-solar planets
  • time-domain astronomy
  • gravitational microlensing


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