Sydney Astronomer to be Distinguished Visitor at Cambridge

14 May 2010

Professor Geraint Lewis, an astronomer at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, based within the University of Sydney's School of Physics, has been awarded the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor position at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.

Geraint Lewis.
Geraint Lewis.

Professor Lewis, who undertakes a broad spectrum of research, will be taking on the position as part of his sabbatical later this year. "I am very honoured to awarded this Distinguished Visitor position and to be given the opportunity to spend some quality research time at one of the world's leading astronomical institutions," said Professor Lewis.

On the largest scales, Lewis's program involves looking at the influence of dark energy and dark matter on the evolution and ultimate fate of the Universe. Another aspect of his research uses the phenomenon of gravitational lensing to probe the nature and distribution of the pervasive dark matter, and employing individual stars to magnify the hearts of quasars, the most luminous objects in the Universe.

However, the focus of Lewis's research at the Institute of Astronomy will be galactic cannibalism and the evolution of galaxies. "I'm planning to use this time at Cambridge working with an amazing new data-set we have recently obtained with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii and which clearly reveals our closest cosmic companion, the Andromeda Galaxy, is currently feasting upon smaller galaxies." It is through this feasting that large galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have grown to their immense size.

Lewis will also use his time at the University of Cambridge to build new collaborations and showcase the research of his group at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy.

Dr Raymond Sackler along with his wife, Mrs Beverly Sackler, are international philanthropists who have supported research in astronomy, physics, and astrophysics at many world-renowned institutions including the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, England where their support led to the establishment of the Deep Sky Initiative, the addition of a Lecture Theatre, and the endowment of a visiting fellowship program of which Professor Lewis is a recipient.

Contact: Alison Muir

Phone: 02 9036 5194

Email: 26275a1029374b293f50380141282e0f0348643c00041f033e