Professor of Astrophysics Education, The Open University

I've worked at the Open University since 1992 and am now Professor of Astrophysics Education in the School of Physical Sciences. I'm a former Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society and am Editor-in-Chief of the journal Astronomical Review.

My research interests are in various aspects of time domain astrophysics with a current focus on stellar photometry from wide field surveys to investigate close binary stars. I carry out research on all sorts of variable stars, including white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, and I edit the International Exoplanet Newsletter. I am co-lead for the materials and learning objects for the PLATO Education and Public Outreach Coordination Office in support of ESA's mission to discover rocky exoplanets in Earth-like orbits around Sun-like stars.

I am passionate about outreach and public engagement - being both a STEMnet ambassador and a public engagement ambassador for the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement; I also serve on the STFC Advisory Panel for Public Engagement. I wrote a story book about Exoplanets for young children called "Oogle-Flip and the planet adventure"; I co-wrote the series of "60 second adventures in Astronomy"; and am a frequent Academic Consultant for OU/BBC astronomy co-productions,

My Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath number is 13.


  • –present
    Professor of Astrophysics Education, The Open University


  • 1988 
    Leicester University, PhD X-ray Astronomy
  • 1985 
    Leicester University, BSc Physics with Astrophysics

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy