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ยป Professor Roger Davies

Professor Roger Davies

Professor Roger Davies


BSc (UCL) PhD (Cantab), FRAS.

Role or Position

Philip Wetton Professor and Head of Astrophysics

Email address

Academic Background

Roger Davies is the Philip Wetton Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University and a Student of Christ Church. He attended John Leggott VIth Form College in his home town of Scunthorpe before gaining a place to read Physics at UCL. He started research working on galaxy dynamics in Cambridge in the 1970s after which he moved to California, returning to Cambridge as a JRF at Christ's College. He then spent 6 years on the staff of the US National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona. As part of the ``7 Samurai'' team he worked out a new way of measuring the distances to galaxies and discovered the ``Great Attractor'', a huge concentration of galaxy clusters in the southern sky. He moved to Oxford in 1988 to lead the UK's participation in the construction of the 8m Gemini telescopes, in Hawaii and Chile. In 1994 he took up the post of Professor of Astronomy at Durham University returning to Oxford in 2002. 

Undergraduate Teaching

I teach S02 `Astrophysics: from Planets to the Cosmos' an introductory course that can be taken by first and second year Physicists.

Research Interests

Roger Davies research interests centre on cosmology and how galaxies form and evolve. He has a longstanding interest in astronomical instruments & telescopes. In recent years he has pioneered the use of a new class of astronomical spectrograph to measure the masses and ages of galaxies, as well as search for black holes in their nuclei. He is Fellow of University College London and of the Institute of Physics. He served as the President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2010-2012. 

Publications include

Roger Davies has published over 150 papers in refereed journals that have attracted over 12,000 citations with four papers reaching 500 citations. His bibliography can be found at :


Hiking, photograophy, gardening, swimming and pilates. 



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