fender rob


Tutorial Fellow in Physics, Brasenose College
Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford
Visiting SKA Professor, University of Cape Town


BSc (Southampton)
PhD (Open)

Academic Background and Previous Positions

Prior to moving to Oxford in October 2013, I was Professor of Physics and Head of Astronomy at The University of Southampton (2004-2013). Before that had been a Universitair Hoofddocent (senior lecturer) at the Astronomical Institute 'Anton Pannekoek', Universiteit van Amsterdam, where I had started as an EC Marie Curie Fellow.
Even earlier I was a postdoc at The University of Sussex.

Undergraduate Teaching Areas

I am a Physics Tutor at Brasenose College.

Research Interests

My research focusses on two overlapping areas of observational astrophysics:

- Black hole accretion: Over the past 15 years I have used simultaneous observations at a variety of frequencies (primarily using radio and X-ray telescopes) to understand the relation between the infall of matter (accretion) and outflow of kinetic energy (in winds and jets) around accreting black holes. Our work has set the basic phenomenological paradigm for the coupling between accretion disc, winds and jets, in stellar-mass black holes, and is currently being tested against intermediate-mass and supermassive black holes in other galaxies.

- Searches for radio transients: I am currently heavily involved in the first wide-field searches for radio transients with new and next-generation radio telescopes such as LOFAR, MeerKAT and, ultimately, the Square Kilometre Array. We hope to use this approach to find rare and exotic phenomena in the universe, such as merging neutron stars, and to identify the electromagnetic counterparts of the first-detected gravitational wave sources.

Selected Publications

"The closest black holes"
Fender R., Maccarone T., Heywood I.,
MNRAS, 430, 1538, 2013

"Stellar-mass black holes and Ultraluminous X-ray sources"
Fender R. and Belloni T., Science, 337, 540, 2012.

"Radio Transients: an antediluvian review"
Fender R. and Bell M., BASI 39, 315, 2011

"No evidence for black hole spin-powering of jets in X-ray binaries",
Fender R., Gallo E., Russell D.,
MNRAS, 406, 1425, 2010


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