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Dr Barbara Hassall

Course Leader

Barbara is currently Course Leader for the distance learning programme. She has contributed to most of the modules, (authoring or editing) and developed many of the support systems we operate to help students through their studies. She also teaches on several of the modules, particularly at level 6.

Dr Anne Sansom


Anne studies the chemical evolution of galaxies, with the ultimate aim of understanding how galaxies form and develop. This requires expertise in spectroscopy in order to extract information about the elements present in the galaxies she observes. This comes to the fore in the topics she supervises in Origins and Collaborative Investigations. Anne is also module tutor for Energy Matter and the Universe and UVOIR.

Dr Silvia Dalla


Trained as a plasma physicist with experience at Imperial College and JET, Silvia has research interests in Solar Physics. She studies solar flares and the energetic particles they generate, as well as the Sun's magnetic field as it emerges from the photosphere. She has been module leader for Sun, Earth & Climate and Solar Astrophysics.

Dr Roger Clowes


Roger has research interests in cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics. Particular emphases are the large-scale structure of the early universe and the environments of quasars. With collaborator Luis Campusano (Univ. de Chile) he discovered the largest structure known in the early universe. He is module tutor for Introduction to Cosmology and Relativity and Cosmology.

Dr Paul Marston

Senior Lecturer

With a background in mathematics and statistics, Paul also has a long standing interest in the history and philosophy of science. He has had several books and pamphlets published on historical figures in science, with a particular interest in Jeremiah Horrocks and William Hershel. He teaches Great Astronomers in History, an extract from his face-to-face modules Copernican Revolution and Darwinian Revolution.

Dr Jason Kirk

Senior Lecturer

Jason is a member of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute's Stellar Astrophysics group. His particular research interest is Observational Star Formation. He is module tutor for Exploring the Solar System

Dr Dan Holdsworth

Research Associate

Dan is working with Prof Don Kurtz on Pulsating stars, a field that has been transformed by the advent of data from the Kepler mission. He is module tutor for Solar-Stellar Connection.

Dr Timo Laitinen

Research Associate

Timo works with Prof Silvia Dalla on Solar energetic particles (SEPs). He started his career with the SOHO spacecraft particle instrument ERNE, and works both SEP observations, and used computer simulations trying to understand how and where the SEPs originate, and how they get from the Sun to Earth. He is the module tutor for Sun, Earth and Climate. Test

Dr Megan Argo

Senior Lecturer

Megan is a professional astrophysicist and science communicator. She studies galaxies in the nearby universe with radio telescopes and gives public lectures and schools workshops all over the country. She is module tutor for Introduction to Astronomy, the coordinator for the Astronomy Dissertation module, and is also a supervisor on this module.

Dr Victor Debattista


Victor leads the Galaxy Dynamics Group, which studies the formation and evolution of galaxies on scales spanning the range from nuclei to bulges, discs and on to their dark matter halos. His research uses state-of-the-art supercomputer simulations and modelling techniques. Victor is a full member of the LSST collaboration and co-leading the Milky Way bulge sub-group. He is also interested in the comparison of simulations with observations, including using Hubble Space Telescope data. Victor is module tutor for The Milky Way, and Galaxies Beyond the Milky Way.

Dr Mark Norris

Senior Lecturer

Mark is research active within the area of astrophysics, with a particular focus on the observational study of the formation and evolution of massive star clusters and galaxies, and is a member of the Extragalactic Astrophysics Research Group. He is responsible for the new Plane Wave telescope at the Alston Observatory. He contributes to the Collaborative Investigation and Origins modules where he leads groups and has supervised distance learning students' dissertations.

Dr Aimilia Smyrli

Lecturer, Ogden Isaac Fellow

Aimilia is a Solar Astrophysicist by training and has been module tutor for the modules Sun, Earth and Climate and Solar Astrophysics as well as a on-campus masters level module. She is partly funded as Ogden Isaac Fellow to undertake outreach in schools.