I joined Surrey in January 2022 after 17 years at the University of Portsmouth. At Portsmouth, I was Professor of Astrophysics, Director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and External Relations. Prior to Portsmouth, I spent 12 years in the USA at Northwestern University, University of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon. I received my PhD from the University of Edinburgh and my degree from Manchester.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Pro Vice-Chancellor
- Executive Dean
- Member of University Executive Board
- Professor of Astrophysics
In the media
My latest research is focused on the detection and characterisation of transients in large astronomical surveys. I am mostly interested in supernova explosions that can be used to measure distances in the Universe, and thus test models of cosmology. My latest experiments include Euclid and the TiDES project as part of the ESO 4MOST project. Over my career, I have been involved in a large number of astronomical surveys, with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey probably being the most famous, and having the biggest impact. I am also proud of my involvement in some great public engagement projects like GalaxyZoo and TactileUniverse. Both are amazing!
A semi-exhaustive list of past and present astronomy collaborations and projects include: EDSGC, SDSS, SDSS-II, SDSS-BOSS, SDSS-IV, XCS, SHARC, 2SLAQ, DES, OzDES, DESI, Euclid, LSST, TiDES, GalaxyZoo
Indicators of esteem
- Founding member of Euclid Consortium
- Euclid Communications Lead (2011-2013)
- Spokesperson for the SDSS-III (2009-11)
- SDSS “Builder” (2000),
- SDSS-III “Architect” (2010)
- DES “Builder” (2010)
- Marie Curie Excellence Chair (2004-2007)
- American Statistical Association (ASA) prize for "Outstanding Statistical Application of the Year" (2005)
- “Breakthrough of the Year” (2003) by Science Magazine
- “EnterPrize Business Plan Competition” (2001) for DigitalMC company.
Postgraduate research supervision
I have supervised many postdocs and postgraduate students over my career. My last postdoc was the amazing Chris Frohmaier (now at Southampton) and my last PhD students were the equally amazing Maria Vincenzi (now at Duke) and Andrius Tamosiunas (now at Nottingham). I plan to take on new students and postdocs in the future.
A full list of my publications can be found on the Astrophysics Data System (ADS). I provide a link here to (refereed) publication by "Nichol, R. C." which should be reasonably clean and complete.
Below, I provide links to ten of my favour papers (for various reasons) each have at least 150 citations. Happy to tell you why I selected them next time we meet.
- Abbott et al. 2019
- Betoule et al. 2014
- Giannantonio et al. 2008
- Masters et al. 2010
- Lampeitl et al. 2010
- York et al. 2000
- Eisenstein et al. 2005
- Baldry et al. 2004
- Bamford et al. 2009
- Bernstein et al. 1995