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Dr Paul Woods

PDRA - Astrophysics Group
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT


I am a post-doctoral research assistant (PDRA) in the Astrophysics Group at University College London, working with Dr. Serena Viti. This is my third post-doc, the first being a three-year placement (2005-2008) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory under the NASA Postdoctoral Program, with Dr. Karen Willacy. The second was a 2.5-year placement (2008-2011) at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, with Dr. Ciska Kemper. I studied for my PhD at UMIST (2001-2004) under the guidance of Profs. Albert Zilstra and Tom Millar. I also did my undergraduate Master's degree at UMIST (1996-2000), graduating with a first class MPhys in Mathematical Physics. I spent two years (2001-2003) of my PhD working at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Santiago, Chile, with Dr. Lars-Åke Nyman.

Please see my page on


PHAS 2525: Interstellar astrophysics

Current responsibilities

Committee member of the Astrophysical Chemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Astronomical Society
SAGE-Spec Project Manager, studying the life-cycle of dust in the Magellanic Clouds

Research interests

Primarily, my interest is chemistry and chemical modelling. I also have an interest in mid-infrared observations of various objects, and the stellar populations in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Thus I have worked in the following areas:

  • Astrochemistry (inc. the formation of prebiotic molecules)
  • Isotope chemistry
  • Asymptotic and Post-asymptotic giant branch stars
  • Planetary nebulae
  • Protoplanetary disks around T Tauri stars
  • Molecular clouds
  • Spitzer IRS observations
  • Studies of the LMC
  • Project and data management
  • Hot cores and high-mass star formation

Links to a list of publications can be found in the sidebar.

Public engagement

I'm keen on promoting the public understanding of science (because, of course, taxpayers generally fund our work in one way or another), and as such have taken part in a number of public engagement initiatives:

To get in touch, please e-mail


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Last updated by Paul Woods