Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology, University of Glasgow

I am Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, where I was first appointed a faculty member in 1998, and where I am currently Head of School.

I am a member of the Institute for Gravitational Research and the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group (where I was a PDRA working in cosmology, from 1996 to 1998, and where I also completed my PhD in 1992).

I am a passionate enthusiast for public engagement in science and (until Oct 2012) was a Science in Society Fellow for the Science and Technology Facilities Council, leading an international programme of outreach with schools and the public entitled "Exploring the Dark Side of the Universe". I also co-organise Glasgow's monthly Cafe Scientifique at the Tron Theatre and from 2012-2015 I was chair of the West of Scotland branch of the British Science Association. I am currently chair elect of the Institute of Physics in Scotland.

In 2011 I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in recognition of my contributions to research, teaching and the public understanding of science. In January 2015 I was awarded an MBE for services to public engagement in science in the Queen's New Year Honours list.

My principal research interests lie in: (1) Gravitational wave astronomy - particularly the use of future gravitational wave observations to constrain cosmological parameters and issues relating to the optimal combination of data from gravitational wave sources and their electromagnetic counterparts. (2) Statistical methods for the analysis of cosmological data sets, particularly large-scale galaxy redshift and peculiar velocity surveys and surveys of high-redshift supernovae. (3) Applications of gravitational microlensing, including diagnosis of planetary and stellar atmospheres, circumstellar envelopes and stellar winds, and the impact of Shapiro delay on the absolute calibration of pulsar timing.

Experience

  • –present
    Professor of Gravitational Astrophysics and Cosmology, University of Glasgow