Personal profile


I am a Professor of Astrophysics in the Centre for Astrophysics Research (CAR) at the University of Hertfordshire. CAR is part of the School of Physics, Astronomy & Mathematics.

I am also the UH Research Theme Champion for Space. This means that I represent and promote a range of research activities at UH in areas including atmospheric physics, mathematics and quantum physics, amongst others, see Space Research web pages.



After a degree in Physics at Oxford University I studied Astrophysics for my doctorate, gaining a PhD in early 1997 under the supervision of Prof Patrick Roche on the topics of star formation and infrared instrumentation. I remained at Oxford for a further 3 years of postdoctoral work, before moving to a permanent post at the University of Hertfordshire in late 1999, initially as a full time researcher on a research fellowship. I have been lecturing in physics, astrophysics and mathematics since 2007. 


Research interests

My main research interests are in the areas of star formation, brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets.

I currently co-lead the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea Survey (VVV) a large infrared time domain survey of our Milky Way Galaxy.  VVV and its successor survey, VVVX, have taken photometric data for over 1 billion individual stars in southern skies from 2010--2022. The survey is performed with the Visible and Infrared Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) in Chile.

This follows on from my earlier work leading the UKIDSS Galactic Plane Survey (UGPS) in northern and equatorial skies. UGPS provided infrared photometry for almost 1 billion stars. VVV/VVVX and UGPS are the current state of the art surveys of our Milky Way Galaxy in the near infrared waveband.

In addition to my survey work, I also use polarization and adaptive optics data to undertake detailed studies of individual stars.


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