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Prof Hiranya Peiris
Room G20, Cosmoparticle Hub, KLB
Dept. Physics and Astronomy, UCL, Gower Street
Prof Hiranya Peiris profile picture
  • Professor of Astrophysics
  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

I am a Professor of Astrophysics in the Astrophysics Group in the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at UCL and the Director of the UCL Cosmoparticle Initiative which brings together researchers in the Astrophysics and High Energy Physics Groups with space scientists from the Mullard Space Science Laboratory. I am currently spending half my time away from UCL as Director of the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics in Stockholm.

Prior to beginning a faculty position at UCL in 2009, I was an STFC Advanced Fellow at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge and a Junior Research Fellow at King's College Cambridge. Previously, I was a Hubble Fellow in the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago. I did my postgraduate research at the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. I was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, where I was a member of New Hall. I was born in Sri Lanka, a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. 

Selected external recognition (since appointment at UCL): 

2021: Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, U.K.
2021: Max Born Medal and Prize, German Physical Society and Institute of Physics, U.K.
2020: Göran Gustafsson Prize in Physics, Gustafsson Foundation / Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
2018: Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics, U.K.
2018: Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (awarded to the WMAP Science Team), U.S.A.
2016: Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society
2012: Gruber Cosmology Prize (awarded to the WMAP Science Team), Gruber Foundation, U.S.A.
2012: Fowler Prize, Royal Astronomical Society, U.K.
2009: Philip Leverhulme Prize, The Leverhulme Trust, U.K.

Selected recent leadership roles and service:

Vice-President (Astronomy), Royal Astronomical Society (2016-2018)
Member, STFC Council, U.K. (2020-)
Director, Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics, Stockholm (2016-)
Editor, Physics Letters B (2015-)

Major collaborations (selected):

Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe Science Team (2002-2006) 
Planck High Frequency Instrument Core Team (2009-2019)
Dark Energy Survey (DES) Collaboration (2013-)
Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Dark Energy Science Collaboration (2013-, elected Builder 2020)
Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) Collaboration (2015-)
Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics (2020-)

Research Groups
Research Summary

My research aims to test fundamental physics using large cosmological datasets, including the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and galaxy surveys, using an interdisciplinary approach combining observations, theoretical physics, and advanced statistical methods. I also enjoy thinking about galaxy evolution, stellar dynamics, and the structure of the Milky Way. More broadly beyond astrophysics, my research involves interdisciplinary collaborations at the interface of cosmology with particle physics and condensed matter physics. More details about my work can be found on my web page. 

2015 Professor of Astrophysics Dept of Physics and Astronomy UCL, United Kingdom
2012 – 2015 Reader Dept of Physics and Astronomy UCL, United Kingdom
2009 – 2012 Lecturer Dept of Physics and Astronomy University College London, United Kingdom
2007 – 2009 STFC Advanced Fellow Institute of Astronomy University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
2004 – 2007 Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics University of Chicago, United States
2003 – 2004 Research Associate Department of Astrophysical Sciences Princeton University, United States
Academic Background
2011   ATQ01 - Successfully completed an institutional provision in teaching in the HE sector University College London
2003   Doctor of Philosophy Princeton University
1998   Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge
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