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Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Canterbury

David L Wiltshire is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. His research interests are in general relativity, cosmology and quantum gravity.

He began his career working on higher-dimensional gravity, brane worlds and black holes as a PhD student in the Cambridge relativity group in the mid 1980s. He has subsequently explored a large range of ideas on topics including quantum cosmology, gravastars and dark energy. Since the mid 2000s his research has focused on the averaging problem and backreaction in inhomogeneous cosmology. By revisiting the foundational principles of general relativity, he has developed the "timescape cosmology", a phenomenological viable alternative to the standard cosmology, without dark energy.

David is on the editorial board of Classical and Quantum Gravity, an IUPAP representative on the committee of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation (ISGRG), President of the New Zealand Institute of Physics, and a member of the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi). He is also a past President of the Australasian Society for General Relativity and Gravitation.


  • 2001–present
    Lecturer; Senior Lecturer; Associate Professor; Professor, University of Canterbury
  • 1991–2001
    Postdoctoral fellow; Lecturer, University of Adelaide
  • 1990–1991
    Postdoctoral fellow, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  • 1988–1988
    Postdoctoral fellow, ICTP, Trieste, Italy


  • 1988 
    University of Cambridge, PhD / Theoretical Physics