Dr Rebecca Bowler wins astronomy award

BowlerRebecca largeDr Rebecca Bowler, Nicholas Kurti Junior Research Fellow at Brasenose College, has won the 2018 Winton Award for Astronomy. Her research centres on early galaxy formation and evolution, in particular the study of vigorously star-forming galaxies in the first billion years of the history of the universe. She completed her PhD at Edinburgh University in 2014 and has made leading contributions to the understanding of luminous star forming galaxies at ultra-high redshifts. During her PhD she led the first scientific publications from the ESO UltraVISTA collaboration.

Dr Bowler’s work has been revolutionary, contrary to previous predictions, demonstrating that highly luminous objects do exist into the epoch of re-ionization, and that quenching processes are not efficient at this time. She has been awarded time on the Hubble Space Telescope, ALMA and VLT, all as Principal Investigator; a testament to her standing in the community very early in her career.

The Winton Award is given by the Royal Astronomical Society.Founded in 1820, it encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science.

Rebecca holds a prestigious Hintze Fellowship at Oxford as well as her position at Brasenose. In 2016 she was awarded the Block Prize for ‘promising young physicist’. Her first papers have been highly cited and her work is critical for predicting the yield of the next generation, wide-area, surveys such as Euclid and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. She was first inspired by astronomy when she stood in her pyjamas in her Aunties garden in Herefordshire staring up at a fuzzy white blob that was in fact a collection of over 100 billion stars, in our nearest neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy.

Commenting on the award, Rebecca said: "'I am honoured and delighted to have been awarded this prize at this early stage of my career."

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