I am a Professor of Astrophysics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London.
My research interests are focussed on studies of outflows at the extremes of stellar evolution. Current projects aim to investigate the nature of mass-loss via stellar winds in a broad range of astrophysical settings, including: The structure of fast outflows from the central stars of planetary nebulae, mass-loss, clumping and the origin of structure in the winds of luminous OB stars, and accretion-disc outflows in cataclysmic variables The work relates to many fundamental astrophysical processes, including radiation hydrodynamics and plasma physics, accretion discs, the evolution of stars, the dynamics and enrichment of the interstellar medium, star formation, and the functioning of galaxies. The studies are based on line-synthesis analyses coupled with multi-wavelength data sets, spanning far-UV, optical and near-IR spectroscopy, plus radio and mm observations. Most recently, I am the coordinator of the COBRaS e-MERLIN Legacy proposal to conduct a deep-field survey of the fantastic Cyg OB2 stellar association.
My route to Professor at UCL has been via appointments as a Royal Society University Research Fellow, Lecturer and Reader. I have been awarded the Pol and Christiane Swings research prize by the Science Division of the Royal Academy of Belgium. I have been awarded the UCL MAPS Faculty Distinguished Teacher Award (2000) and the Departmental Teaching Prize (2007).
I am the Programme Director for the Natural Sciences degree at UCL.
As part of my `Outreach' activities, I have authored a series books on astronomy:
'Stars: A Journey Through the Stellar Birth, Life and Death' (New Holland, London, Oct. 2008).
'Wonders of the Planets' (Mitchell Beazley, Sept. 2006).
'Visions of the Universe' (Mitchell Beazley, Sept. 2004).and
'Understanding the Universe' (Philip's, 2002, with R. Ignace).
Last Updated: Sept. 2008