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I am a reader in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy.

I obtained a BA in Natural Sciences (Physics) from Cambridge University in 1986, and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Manchester in 1989. I spent nearly two years as a postdoctoral researcher in Manchester, followed by a three-year PDRA position at Leiden Observatory, Netherlands. I returned to Manchester as a temporary lecturer in 1994, obtaining a lectureship in 1998.


Research interests

My main fields of interest in research are in extragalactic astronomy. In particular I am interested in gravitational lensing, a phenomenon in which light from background galaxies or quasars is deflected by galaxies lying along the line of sight. In such cases, multiple, distorted images of the background object are seen. Lensing is useful because the properties of the lensed images allow us to investigate the mass distribution of the deflecting object, independent of the light emitted - thus allowing investigations of dark matter as well as luminous matter. With upcoming instruments such as e-Merlin, it should be possible to investigate this in more detail, including studying the central regions of galaxies.

 I was involved in the CLASS gravitational lens search, led from Manchester, which discovered 22 lenses of the ~100 now known. In the future I am interested in developing methods for lens discovery to obtain a much larger sample.

 I am also interested in the phenomenology of active galaxies, including population studies and the physics of nuclear regions of active galactic nuclei.


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