School of Physics and Astronomy

Dr Alkistis Pourtsidou to explore the universe as a Future Leader Fellow

A Queen Mary cosmologist has been announced as a Future Leader Fellow as part of a new government initiative to give leading researchers an opportunity to deliver global impact.

9 May 2019

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The MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa. Image courtesy SARAO.

Dr Alkistis Pourtsidou will explore the universe with radio and optical galaxy surveys and is one of 41 Fellows funded through the Future Leader Fellowships initiative announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Dr. Pourtsidou secured a total award of ~1.5 million GBP, the maximum amount that can be requested.

Dr Pourtsidou will use the Fellowship to maximise the scientific output of a suite of radio and optical galaxy surveys and exploit synergies between them. These surveys include the Square Kilometre Array and its MeerKAT precursor, as well as the Euclid satellite mission. Both are major international projects in which the UK plays a leading role. Dr. Pourtsidou’s funded research projects also include working with current data from the Green Bank Telescope and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, as well as producing state of the art numerical simulations and developing innovative techniques to jointly analyse interlinked data. She will also build upon her involvement in data science training networks and the fact that all these surveys are “big data” astronomical projects to develop new collaborations across astronomy and data intensive science and industry.

Overall, the initiative encourages a new generation of rising stars across research and business to tackle pressing global challenges. Supported by a £900 million investment fund, the Fellowships will provide researchers and innovators from diverse backgrounds and career paths with the flexibility and time they need to make progress on truly challenging questions.