Eamonn Kerins

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Exoplanet detection with space-based microlensing

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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 exoplanet research within the JBCA Pulsars, Exoplanets and Transients group..

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 frequently appeared as a space expert live on BBC Breakfast as well as on BBC national and World Service radio. My research has also frequently been highlighted in national and international newspapers and special interest magazines.

I have co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers in astronomy.

Research interests

My research encompasses the detection and characterization of planets outside our solar system (exoplanets). Recently, I proposed the idea of mutual detectability - a game-theory based approach for the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Additionally, I have broader research interests in time-domain astronomy and the 3D structure of our Galaxy.

I am the Principal Investigator of an STFC-funded study that has used the NASA Kepler space telescope to make the first space-based discovery of an exoplanet using the microlensing technique. The same study has also uncovered evidence for a population of Earth-mass exoplanets that may not even be bound to any host star (so-called free-floating planets).

The microlensing technique is the central method that will be used by the upcoming $3 billion NASA Roman mission to look for planets down to, and below, Earth mass that are on wider orbits around their host stars. I currently serve as Lead for the Euclid Exoplanet Science Working Group. We aim to undertake a microlensing survey for exoplanets as an additional science objective for the 600 million ESA Euclid mission, which will launch in July 2023. This will potentially work in combination with the NASA Roman mission that will launch in 2026/27.

My team has developed MaBulS, the most detailed public 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 potential Euclid and Roman exoplanet microlemsing surveys.

I co-lead the SPEARNET survey, in collaboration with colleagues in Thailand and India, to study the atmopheres of exoplanets using transmission spectroscopy. We have developed new tools to select targets for observations and to analyse the data. We are also using data from the 8-metre aperture VLT in Chile, as well as the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope.

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


  • Exoplanets
  • Extra-solar planets
  • Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • SETI
  • Alien worlds
  • Alien life


Dive into the research topics where Eamonn Kerins is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or
  • Kepler K2 Campaign 9: II. First space-based discovery of an exoplanet using microlensing

    Specht, D., Poleski, R., Penny, M. T., Kerins, E., McDonald, I., Lee, C-U., Udalski, A., Bond, I. A., Shvartzvald, Y., Zang, W., Street, R. A., Hogg, D. W., Gaudi, B. S., Barclay, T., Barentsen, G., Howell, S. B., Mullally, F., Henderson, C. B., Bryson, S. T., Caldwell, D. A., & 66 othersHaas, M. R., Van Cleve, J. E., Larson, K., McCalmont, K., Peterson, C., Putnam, D., Ross, S., Packard, M., Reedy, L., Albrow, M. D., Chung, S-J., Jung, Y. K., Gould, A., Han, C., Hwang, K-H., Ryu, Y-H., Shin, I-G., Yang, H., Yee, J. C., Cha, S-M., Kim, D-J., Kim, S-L., Lee, D-J., Lee, Y., Park, B-G., Pogge, R. W., Szymański, M. K., Soszyński, I., Ulaczyk, K., Pietrukowicz, P., Kozłowski, S., Skowron, J., Mróz, P., Mao, S., Fouqué, P., Zhu, W., Abe, F., Barry, R., Bennett, D. P., Bhattacharya, A., Fukui, A., Fujii, H., Hirao, Y., Itow, Y., Kirikawa, R., Kondo, I., Koshimoto, N., Matsubara, Y., Matsumoto, S., Miyazaki, S., Muraki, Y., Olmschenk, G., Ranc, C., Okamura, A., Rattenbury, N. J., Satoh, Y., Sumi, T., Suzuki, D., Silva, S. I., Toda, T., Tristram, P. J., Vandorou, A., Yama, H., Beichman, C., Bryden, G. & Novati, S. C., 1 Apr 2023, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 520, 4, p. 6350-6366 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • An Isolated Stellar-mass Black Hole Detected through Astrometric Microlensing

    Sahu, K. C., Anderson, J., Casertano, S., Bond, H. E., Udalski, A., Dominik, M., Calamida, A., Bellini, A., Brown, T. M., Rejkuba, M., Bajaj, V., Kains, N., Ferguson, H. C., Fryer, C. L., Yock, P., Mróz, P., Kozłowski, S., Pietrukowicz, P., Poleski, R., Skowron, J., & 74 othersSoszyński, I., Szymański, M. K., Ulaczyk, K., Wyrzykowski, Ł., Barry, R. K., Bennett, D. P., Bond, I. A., Hirao, Y., Silva, S. I., Kondo, I., Koshimoto, N., Ranc, C., Rattenbury, N. J., Sumi, T., Suzuki, D., Tristram, P. J., Vandorou, A., Beaulieu, J-P., Marquette, J-B., Cole, A., Fouqué, P., Hill, K., Dieters, S., Coutures, C., Dominis-Prester, D., Bennett, C., Bachelet, E., Menzies, J., Albrow, M., Pollard, K., Gould, A., Yee, J. C., Allen, W., Almeida, L. A., Christie, G., Drummond, J., Gal-Yam, A., Gorbikov, E., Jablonski, F., Lee, C-U., Maoz, D., Manulis, I., McCormick, J., Natusch, T., Pogge, R. W., Shvartzvald, Y., Jørgensen, U. G., Alsubai, K. A., Andersen, M. I., Bozza, V., Novati, S. C., Burgdorf, M., Hinse, T. C., Hundertmark, M., Husser, T-O., Kerins, E., Longa-Peña, P., Mancini, L., Penny, M., Rahvar, S., Ricci, D., Sajadian, S., Skottfelt, J., Snodgrass, C., Southworth, J., Tregloan-Reed, J., Wambsganss, J., Wertz, O., Tsapras, Y., Street, R. A., Bramich, D. M., Horne, K., Steele, I. A. & Collaboration, R., Jul 2022, In: The Astrophysical Journal.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Earth through the looking glass: how frequently are we detected by other civilizations through photometric microlensing?

    Suphapolthaworn, S., Awiphan, S., Chatchadanoraset, T., Kerins, E., Specht, D., Nakharutai, N., Komonjinda, S. & Robin, A. C., Oct 2022, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Euclid-Roman joint microlensing survey: Early mass measurement, free floating planets, and exomoons

    Bachelet, E., Specht, D., Penny, M., Hundertmark, M., Awiphan, S., Beaulieu, J. -P., Dominik, M., Kerins, E., Maoz, D., Meade, E., Nucita, A. A., Poleski, R., Ranc, C., Rhodes, J. & Robin, A. C., Aug 2022, In: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Kepler K2 Campaign 9 - I. Candidate short-duration events from the first space-based survey for planetary microlensing

    McDonald, I., Kerins, E., Poleski, R., Penny, M. T., Specht, D., Mao, S., Fouqué, P., Zhu, W. & Zang, W., 1 Aug 2021, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 505, 4, p. 5584-5602 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access