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The Royal Holloway Astronomy group specialises in the study of ultra-compact neutron stars, black holes, supernova, cosmology, and gravitational waves.

Image credit: Carl Knox & Mark Myers

The Royal Holloway Astronomy Group is a dynamic and inclusive community of students, researchers, and faculty members passionate about exploring the wonders of the universe. Based at Royal Holloway, University of London, our group is dedicated to advancing astronomical knowledge through research, education, and outreach activities. 

Our research spans a wide range of topics within astrophysics and astronomy, including stellar astrophysics, supernovae, radio pulsars, gravitational-wave astronomy, and cosmology. Leveraging state-of-the-art observational facilities such as the JWST, Hubble Space Telescope, LIGO gravitational-wave detectors, and Euclid satellite, our researchers investigate fundamental questions about the nature of celestial objects, the evolution of galaxies, and the structure of the universe itself. Our focus is on the application of advanced Artificial Intelligence methods to astrophysical research. As a result, we collaborate with experts in Computer Science and in the wider economy where our cutting-edge techniques can have a broader impact. 

At the undergraduate level, we offer engaging courses and research opportunities that enable students to delve into the exciting realm of astronomy. We teach throughout the curriculum and run specialised research-led modules in the third and fourth years. Final-year and summer project students are embedded within the astronomy group for their projects. These can span from direct observations using the teaching telescope on the roof of the Tolansky building to analysing recent observations from cutting-edge observatories.  Our students develop excellent scientific skills, and we have a strong history of sending our graduates onto fulfilling PhDs and careers in a wide variety of fields. 

Driven by curiosity and a sense of wonder, the Royal Holloway Astronomy Group invites individuals with a passion for exploring the mysteries of the universe to join us on our journey of discovery. Whether you are an aspiring researcher, a student eager to learn, or simply an enthusiast with a love for the stars, there is a place for you in our vibrant astronomy community. 

There is PhD funding available within the Centre for Particle Physics group.  For more information please check here.


Dr Greg Ashton  Gravitational waves
Dr Justyn Maund  Supernovae
Dr Alessio Spurio Mancini  Cosmology


Dr Adriana Dias  Research Fellow

Research Students

Mattia Emma  PhD student
Sean Hibbitt  PhD student
Ann Malz  PhD student

Ashton, G. & Talbot C., BILBY-MCMC: an MCMC sampler for gravitational-wave inference, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 507, Issue 2 (2020)

Maund, J. R., (2024), Exploring the polarization of axially symmetric supernovae with unsupervised deep learning, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 528, 3875, DOI:10.1093/mnras/stad2572

Maund, J. R., et al., (2023), A flash of polarized optical light points to an aspherical 'cow', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 521, 3323, DOI:10.1093/mnras/stad539

Ashton, G., Dietrich, T., (2022), The use of hypermodels to understand binary neutron star collisions, Nature Astronomy, 6, 961, DOI:10.1038/s41550-022-01707-x

Spurio Mancini, A., Pourtsidou, A., (2022), KiDS-1000 cosmology: machine learning - accelerated constraints on interacting dark energy with COSMOPOWER, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 512, L44, DOI:10.1093/mnrasl/slac019

Spurio Mancini, A., et al., (2022), COSMOPOWER: emulating cosmological power spectra for accelerated Bayesian inference from next-generation surveys, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 511, 1771, DOI:10.1093/mnras/stac064

Abbott, B. P., et al., (2020), GW190425: Observation of a Compact Binary Coalescence with Total Mass ∼ 3.4 M, The Astrophysical Journal, 892, L3, DOI:10.3847/2041-8213/ab75f5

Spurio Mancini, A., et al., (2019), KiDS + GAMA: constraints on horndeski gravity from combined large-scale structure probes, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 490, 2155, DOI:10.1093/mnras/stz2581

Ashton, G., et al., (2019), Rotational evolution of the Vela pulsar during the 2016 glitch, Nature Astronomy, 3, 1143, DOI:10.1038/s41550-019-0844-6

Ashton, G., et al., (2019), BILBY: A User-friendly Bayesian Inference Library for Gravitational-wave Astronomy, The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 241, 27, DOI:10.3847/1538-4365/ab06fc

Spurio Mancini, A., et al., (2018), Testing (modified) gravity with 3D and tomographic cosmic shear, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 480, 3725, DOI:10.1093/mnras/sty2092

Maund, J. R., et al., (2004), The massive binary companion star to the progenitor of supernova 1993J, Nature, 427, 129, DOI:10.1038/nature02161

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