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Professor Geraint Lewis wins Raymond & Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor Fellowship at Cambridge



23 June 2010

Professor Geraint Lewis, from the School of Physics, has been awarded the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor Fellowship at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.

Professor Geraint Lewis, from the School of Physics, has been awarded the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor Fellowship at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.
Professor Geraint Lewis, from the School of Physics, has been awarded the prestigious Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor Fellowship at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.

Spending five months at the University of Cambridge from August 2010, Professor Lewis will use this sabbatical to focus on his research into galaxy evolution and galactic cannibalism.

"I am very honoured to have been awarded this Distinguished Visitor Fellowship and to be given the opportunity to spend some quality research time at one of the world's leading astronomical institutions. The Institute has an excellent research history and profile," said Professor Lewis.

"Having been a PhD student at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in the early 90s, I have a long association and history with the Institute."

Professor Lewis was pleased to have made it through the competitive visitor program process to hold his sabbatical at the Institute of Astronomy, so was further delighted to learn that the Institute had nominated him and been successful in obtaining the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor Fellowship.

"I'm planning to use this time at Cambridge to work on an amazing new data-set we have recently obtained from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii. The data clearly reveals our closest cosmic companion - the Andromeda Galaxy - feasting upon smaller galaxies. It is through this feasting that large galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have grown to their immense size," explained Professor Lewis.

"The new data I'll be working on charts an area with a diameter of nearly a million light years, centred around Andromeda - it's the broadest and deepest image of a galaxy ever made.

"We mapped Andromeda's unexplored outskirts for the first time and found stars and giant structures that are remnants of smaller galaxies, which have been incorporated into Andromeda as part of its ongoing growth," said Professor Lewis.

Professor Lewis will also use his time at the University of Cambridge to build new collaborations and showcase the research of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy in the School of Physics, where he works.

Dr Raymond Sackler and his wife, Mrs Beverly Sackler, are international philanthropists who have a longstanding commitment to supporting scientific research. Dr Sackler is a physician and cofounder/president of a multinational pharmaceutical company.

The Sacklers have supported research in astronomy, physics and astrophysics at many world-renowned institutions. At the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University their support led to the establishment of the Deep Sky Initiative, the addition of a Lecture Theatre and the endowment of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Distinguished Visitor Fellowship.

Read more about the data Professor Geraint Lewis will work on at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy at: www.usyd.edu.au/news/science/397.html?newsstoryid=3808


Contact: Katynna Gill

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