I am a Professor of Astrophysics and Head of the Astrophysics Research Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, and an Affiliated Researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) on Tenerife. Prior to moving to Sheffield, I worked at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, first at Herstmonceux/University of Sussex, then on La Palma, and finally in Cambridge. I was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society Jackson-Gwilt Medal in 2013 and from 2014-2019 was an ERC Advanced Grant holder.
My primary research interests are in the field of close binary stars, in which at least one stellar component is a white dwarf, neutron star or black hole. This work has led me and my collaborators to develop a series of high-speed cameras - ULTRACAM, ULTRASPEC and HiPERCAM - which have been mounted on some of the world's largest optical telescopes, including the VLT and GTC. I am also interested in observing electromagnetic counterparts to the gravitational-wave sources discovered by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, most likely emitted by close binary stars. To this end, I am currently focused on the construction of GOTO, a network of wide-field optical survey telescopes in Australia and La Palma.