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Prof Michael Barlow
Room G06, Ground Floor
Kathleen Lonsdale Building, Department of Physics & Astronomy
Gower Place
London
WC1E 6BT
Appointment
  • Professor of Astrophysics
  • Dept of Physics & Astronomy
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Biography
Following an undergraduate degree in Physics at Queen's University Belfast, I obtained a DPhil in Astrophysics at the University of Sussex, on the topic of `The growth and destruction of dust grains in interstellar space'. Roger Tayler was my thesis adviser. During the 1970's I spent three years in the US, first of all holding an ESRO-NASA Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, where I worked on dust physics and on observational infrared astronomy with Joe Silk and Martin Cohen. This was later followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship at JILA, University of Colorado, where I worked on mass loss from hot stars with David Hummer, John Castor, Peter Conti and David Abbott. I then took a Staff Astronomer position at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, during Don Morton's Directorship. While at the AAO I initiated an extensive optical spectroscopic programme on planetary nebulae and WO Wolf-Rayet stars.

Returning from the AAO to the UK, I held an SERC Advanced Fellowship at UCL before being appointed to a `New Blood' Lectureship in 1983. I was promoted to Reader in 1989 and became a Professor of Astrophysics in 1994. I spent 1985-86 as a Visiting Fellow at JILA, University of Colorado. Some of the projects that I have been involved in while at UCL include the production of the CGS3 mid-infrared spectrometer for UKIRT;
the Ultra-High Resolution Facility (UHRF) for the Anglo-Australian Telescope; and Co-Investigator membership of the Long Wavelength Spectrometer Consortium for ESA's Infrared Space Observatory. I am currently a member of the Science Team for the SPIRE far-IR/submm imager/spectrometer for ESA's Herschel Space Observatory and am also a member of the European Science Team for the MIRI mid-infrared imager/spectrometer that will be one of three instruments on the James Webb Space Telescope. My current research interests include investigating whether supernovae are significant contributors dust contributors to galaxies, via ground-based and Spitzer Space Telescope studies of dust emission from extragalactic supernovae during their immediate post-outburst phases; and observational and numerical modelling studies of ionized nebulae and blue compact dwarf galaxies.

Research Groups
Academic Background
1975 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Astrophysics University of Sussex
1969 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Physics Queen's University of Belfast
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