Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy

Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy

Foundation: 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the renaissance of observational astronomy and cosmology in the Department of Physics at Durham University. This activity has grown substantially over this period and we are now one of the largest astronomy groups in the UK and Europe, hosting world-class activities in observational extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, encompassing the formation and evolution of galaxies, clusters and large scale structure. To mark this anniversary and to recognise the scale of the observational research activity at Durham, in 2015 we founded the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy (CEA). Together with the associated astronomy research centres focusing on theoretical and instrumentation development, the CEA provides a rich research environment to enhance productivity by fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration. The Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers 2018 list puts Durham's astronomers and cosmologists first in the UK, second in Europe and sixth in the world for the quality and influence of their research in space science.

Assistant Professor in Observational Astronomy
The Department of Physics at Durham University seeks to appoint a talented individual to the role of Assistant Professor in Observational Astronomy. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 13, 2019 - the position will start around October 2020. See our AAS Job Register entry for full details and how to apply.
Fellowship and Postdoctoral Research Positions in Observational and Theoretical Cosmology and Extragalactic Astronomy
We invite applications for observational and theoretical postdoctoral positions within the broad area of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology at the Durham University. We are particularly interested in candidates with research interests in the following areas: numerical simulations of structure formation, dark energy and modified gravity, dark matter, gravitational lensing, cluster physics, the Milky Way, near-field cosmology, galaxy surveys, absorption-line studies of the intergalactic medium, spatially resolved studies of galaxies, multiwavelength studies of the formation and evolution of galaxies, AGN and AGN-driven outflows, and the astrophysics of accreting black holes. However, excellent candidates with interests outside of these areas are also encouraged to apply.

We expect to recruit to postdoctoral positions supported by the European Research Council (ERC), the Leverhulme Trust, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and UK Research Innovation (UKRI). All positions are for up-to 3 years, subject to funding. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 13, 2019. See our Academic Jobs Online entry for further details and how to apply.

In November 2016, the CEA moved into the brand new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics building, designed by the world renowned Studio Daniel Libeskind. The new building now houses all three astronomy groups in the Department of Physics, including the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation and the Institute for Computational Cosmology, as well as the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy.

The new Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics building.

Mission: Observational astronomy and astrophysics is the fundamental foundation of our understanding of the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, black holes and large-scale structure in the Universe. The Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy’s core mission is to extend society’s knowledge and understanding of the Universe we inhabit. We achieve this by supporting our internationally-leading staff to pursue innovative research programmes and to exploit these to train the next generation of world class early-stage researchers. The expertise of our staff encompasses the key observational techniques needed to develop and exploit the next generation of multi-wavelength surveys for galaxies, black holes and large-scale structure, and the detailed study of their properties.

Research programme: The CEA's research programme makes extensive use of the world's forefront observational facilities to test advanced theoretical models of galaxy and structure formation developed in Durham. We utilise the largest ground-based optical and near-infrared telescopes including those in Chile, Hawaii, Australia and the Canary Islands, and we have been particularly successful at obtaining time on the Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. The multi-wavelength aspects of our programme focus on sub-millimetre and radio observations from ground-based facilities in Hawaii, Spain, Australia and the Americas and X-ray observations from space-based facilities such as the Chandra, Newton and NuSTAR X-ray satellites. Follow the Research Topics link to find out more about our research.

A key component of our research explores mass accretion onto black holes and is outlined both here (see Research Topics link on the left hand panel) and on our high-energy astrophysics web pages. We also closely interact with staff in the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation to aid the development and commissioning of instrumentation purpose-built for studies relevant to this area. In addition we pursue a number of common projects on galaxy formation, large-scale structure and the nature of the cosmic dark matter with theoretical research staff within the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) at Durham.

The Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy is one of three major partners in the Durham Astronomy Research Cluster. We welcome requests from individuals with strong science backgrounds who wish to join us as Research Fellows, Postdoctoral Researchers or Graduate Students.

Our latest publications


2019 MNRAS, 482, 5316 (on-line)
Mizumoto M., Ebisawa K., Tsujimoto M., Done C., Hagino K., Odaka H.
X-ray reverberation lags of the Fe-K line due to AGN disc winds

2019 MNRAS, 482, L65 (on-line)
Klitsch A., Zwaan M. A., Péroux C., Smail I., Oteo I., Popping G., Swinbank A. M., Ivison R. J., Biggs A. D.
ALMACAL V: absorption-selected galaxies with evidence for excited ISMs

2019 MNRAS, 482, 3550 (on-line)
Krumholz M. R., Adamo A., Fumagalli M., Calzetti D.
SLUG IV: a novel forward-modelling method to derive the demographics of star clusters

2019 MNRAS, 482, 3261 (on-line)
Kulier A., Padilla N., Schaye J., Crain R. A., Schaller M., Bower R. G., Theuns T., Paillas E.
The evolution of the baryon fraction in haloes as a cause of scatter in the galaxy stellar mass in the EAGLE simulation