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Professor of Astrophysics, University of Hertfordshire

Professor Hugh Jones is Director of Research for the University's Science and Technology Research Institute, one of three large multi-disciplinary research facilities in the University. He maintains an active personal research profile in the Centre for Astrophysics Research in the field of low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and exoplanets.

After a 1988 BSc in Physics from the University of Leeds, an exchange scholarship MSc from the University of Alberta, work as a subeditor at Blackwell Scientific and setting up MadLab an educational electronics company he began his research career as a PhD student based at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh. His 1995 thesis from the University of Edinburgh was titled "The Coolest Dwarfs". He then moved to the University of Tokyo as a European Commission research fellow to work with Professor Takashi Tsuji on the model atmospheres of cool dwarf stars. During that time he worked on the inclusion of dust in model atmospheres and co-founded the Anglo-Australian Planet Search. In 1997, he moved to Liverpool John Moores University and in 2000 also a position at the University of Liverpool. He was closely involved with founding and running a joint Physics degree, a suite of ten online distance learning courses and the Liverpool Robotic Telescope. He moved to Hertfordshire in 2004 and has extended his work into instrumentation with the development of the Bayfordbury Observatory, led the IoP accreditation of the University of Hertfordshire Physics degree and chaired the inaugural European Week of Astronomy and Space Science. In his research he has been fortunate to have great collaborators and so be able to make a contribution to the burgeoning fields of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets. Thus Hertfordshire can claim close involvement in the discovery and characterisation of a significant fraction of the nearby extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs including the discovery of planet's orbiting the Sun's nearest neighbours, Proxima Centauri and Barnard's star.

He has visiting appointments as a Distinguished Visitor of the Australian Astronomical Observatory, Visiting Investigator in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland, Visting Professor of the National Observatory of Ukraine. and President's International Visting Scientist at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.


  • –present
    Professor of Astrophysics, University of Hertfordshire