Professional background

I research dynamical modelling of galaxies, primarily of the Milky Way, and the processing of data from the Gaia mission. I am a member of the Gaia Data processing and analysis consortium. I am also part of the RAVE survey collaboration, as well being involved with the upcoming 4MOST and WEAVE surveys.

I am a senior research fellow at Lund Observatory, where I am part of the Gaia group. Previously I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford working with Prof James Binney in the Galactic Dynamics group. I did my PhD in the Theoretical Astrophysics group at the University of Leicester supervised by Walter Dehnen. This included a Marie Curie student fellowship in Marseille with Lia Athanassoula.

Research Interests

My work on Gaia data is focussed on the problem of determining the correlations between output parameters from Gaia data analysis. This follows the thesis work on this topic by Berry Holl

My dynamical modelling research is dominated by the study of the Milky Way, and how best to interpret and exploit the enormously rich but confusing data we are gaining from numerous large surveys, with intention of being prepared for Gaia data.

In particular I'm focused on producing dynamical models which can be compared to observations of the Milky Way, as it's only through understanding the Galaxy's dynamics that we will be able to discover anything about its dark matter content, or infer anything about the regions of the Galaxy that we can't survey from those we can.

I work primarily on methods which exploit action-angle coordinates. A major focus is the "torus machinery" which operates on an orbit-by-orbit basis (e.g. "Analysing surveys of our Galaxy I: basic astrometric data"), but also on approximations that allow other forms of calculations, such as determining the Milky Way potential from survey data ("Analysing surveys of our Galaxy - II. Determining the potential").

Additionally I have dedicated significant work to interpreting simpler datasets in an effort to establish our current level of knowledge about the Milky Way. This includes my paper "The uncertainty in Galactic parameters" which analysed observations of maser sources, and "Mass models of the Milky Way" which attempts to distill our current understanding of the Galaxy's structure into a single model.

I am currently involved with the RAVE survey, where I am in charge of the pipeline that determines the distances to stars from RAVE observations.

Contact and Links

Here you can find links to my CV, to my publications, and to external sites where I have a presence (Github and Twitter).


  • Address:

    Lund Observatory
    Box 43
    Lund SE-221 00
    Sweden

  • Email: paul@astro.lu.se

  • Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 7312