About | Soton SN Group

About Us

Who we are, and the research we are working on

Meet the Team

Using supernovae to understand the fate of the Universe


Prof. Mark Sullivan

I am primarily interested in supernova cosmology (measuring the properties of dark energy) and supernova physics (understanding how stars blow up). I am involved in the PESSTO survey, the Dark Energy Survey, the Palomar Transient Factory, and the CFHT Legacy Survey (SNLS).

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Philip Wiseman

Joined 2017

My expertise lies in utilising the host galaxies of supernovae and other transients to discover more about the explosions themselves. I have created a very deep set of images based on data from the Dark Energy Survey. This catalogue is being used to investigate the host galaxy properties of Type Ia Supernovae (see Lisa’s work) as well as more exotic objects, such as Rapidly Evolving Transients. I am passionate about diversity, I chair of the Astronomy Group Diversity Working Group and sit on the Physics and Astronomy ED&I committee.

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PhD Students

Lisa Kelsey

Started 2017

My research primarily focuses on the host galaxies of Type Ia Supernovae in order to determine how the observed properties of the supernova are affected by the physical parameters of the host. Using a large sample of supernovae from the Dark Energy Survey, I compare local environmental properties within a fixed location around the supernova explosion sites with global host galaxy properties in order to test standardisation parameters, and gain insight into potential causes of the residual dispersion in Type Ia luminosities.

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Matt Grayling

Started 2018

I study core-collapse supernovae, analysing the properties of objects in the Dark Energy Survey and comparing them to other samples as well as looking in detail at particularly interesting individual objects.

Zoe Zontou

Started 2020

I am looking at supernovae in the faintest and lowest metallicity host galaxies. I have been using data from the Dark Energy Survey to create and look at Hubble Diagram residuals and determine the values for the nuisance parameters in an assumed flat LambdaCDM universe. I am currently looking at the host galaxy masses of the SNe to determine whether there is possibly any correlation between the Hubble residuals and the host galaxies; I will also focus on SNe within the DES X3 field to hopefully discover any missing information about their host galaxies.

Previous group members

Dr. Mat Smith

Postdoctoral Researcher 2014-2020

Postdoctoral Researcher, CNRS/IN2P3 University of Lyon

Dr. Claudia Gutiérrez

Postdoctoral Researcher 2017-2020

FINCA Fellow, University of Turku

Dr. Miika Pursiainen

PhD Student 2016-2020

Postdoctoral Researcher, DTU Space Copenhagen

Dr. Mike Childress

Faculty 2015-2020


Dr. Charlotte Angus

Postdoctoral Researcher 2017-2020

DARK Research Fellow, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen

Dr. Cosimo Inserra

Research Fellow 2017-2020

Lecturer, Cardiff University

Dr. Szymon Prajs

PhD Student 2014-2018

Data Scientist, Vocalink

Dr. Rob Firth

Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2016-2017

PhD Student 2012-2016

Data Scientist, STFC

Dr. Chris Frohmaier

PhD Student 2013-2017

Data Science Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ICG, University of Portsmouth

Dr. Georgios Dimitriadis

PhD Student 2013-2017

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California

Dr. Regis Cartier

Postdoctoral Researcher 2015-2017

Support Astronomer/Fellow, CTIO

Dr. Chris D'Andrea

Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2015-2016

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Pennsylvania