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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Dr Tessa Baker


Royal Society University Research Fellow, Proleptic Reader in Cosmology

Telephone: 0207 882 5867
Room Number: G. O. Jones Building, Room 515
Twitter: @Tessa_M_Baker


I'm a cosmologist who works on understanding the role of gravity in our universe. In particular, I develop tools to test ideas about modified gravity and dark energy models with gravitational waves, large-scale structure and cosmological voids.

I completed my PhD at the University of Oxford, on devising mathematical frameworks for testing alternatives to General Relativity. I remained in Oxford for a five-year postdoctoral research fellowship at All Souls College, one year of which I spent as Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. In January 2019 I moved to QMUL to join the Cosmology & Relativity group as a Royal Society University Research Fellow and proleptic senior lecturer.

Experiments: I'm a member of the consortia behing the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the ESA Euclid satellite, and the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA).

You can check out my personal website via the link above.

Undergraduate Teaching

Semester A 2020: Module Associate for SPA6311 Physical Cosmology. 

In the past I've lectured in fourth-year courses on weak lensing and introductory cosmology for the MMathPhys degree at Oxford.

In 2020 I gave a lecture series `Cosmology Beyond General Relativity' at the SIGRAV Internationl PhD school, details can be found here.


Research Interests:

My primary research interests at present are:

  • Multimessenger gravitational wave events.
  • Systems for describing cosmologically-motivated alternatives to GR ('parameterisations').
  • Testing gravity with galaxy surveys (large-scale structure and weak lensing).
  • Cosmological voids as unique laboratories in the universe. 

Examples of research funding:

I'm currently supported by two awards from the Royal Society, one of the UK's most long-standing independent scientific bodies:

Royal Society University Research Fellowship, 2019 - 2023.

Royal Society Research Fellow's Enhancement Award, 2019 - 2021.

From Feburary 2021, I will commence a Starting Grant from the European Research Council, under the Horizon2020 framework.


Some selected publications:

  • T. Baker and I. Harrison, Constraining Scalar-Tensor Modified Gravity with Gravitational Waves and Large Scale Structure Surveys' (2020),, submitted to JCAP.

  • A. Pisani, E. Massara, D. Spergel, D. Alonso, T. Baker et al., Cosmic voids: a novel probe to shed light on our Universe’ (2019),

  • T. Baker, J. Clampitt, B. Jain, & M. Trodden, Void Lensing as a Test of Gravity, Phys. Rev. D 98, 023511 (2018),

  • M. Lagos, E. Bellini, J. Noller, P.G. Ferreira, T. Baker, A general theory of linear cosmological perturbations: sta- bility conditions, the quasistatic limit and dynamics’, JCAP 03 (2018) 021,

  • T. Baker, E. Bellini, P. Ferreira, M. Lagos, J. Noller & I. Sawicki, Strong constraints on cosmological gravity from GW170817 and GRB 170817A’, Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 251301 (2017). Selected as a PRL Editor’s Highlight contribution.

  • T. Baker, M. Trodden, Multi-Messenger Time Delays from Lensed Gravitational Waves, Phys. Rev. D., Vol. 95 063512 (2017),

  • M. Lagos, T. Baker, P.G. Ferreira, J. Noller, A General Theory of Linear Cosmological Perturbations: scalar- tensor and vector-tensor theories, Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, Issue 08, article id. 007 (2016),

  • T. Baker, P. Bull, Observational signatures of modified gravity on ultra-large scales, The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 811 No. 2 (2015),

  • T. Baker, D. Psaltis, C. Skordis, Linking Tests of Gravity On All Scales: from the Strong-Field Regime to Cosmology, The Astrophysical Journal, 802 63 (2015),

  • T. Baker, P.G. Ferreira, C. Skordis, The Parameterized Post-Friedmann Framework for Theories of Modified Gravity: Concepts, Formalism and Examples’, Phys. Rev. D, Vol.87, 024015 (2013),

  • T. Baker, P.G. Ferreira, C. Skordis, J. Zuntz, ‘Towards a Fully Consistent Parameterization of Modified Gravity’, Phys. Rev. D, Vol. 84, Issue 12 (2011),


Current PhD students:

Ashim Sen Gupta 

Anson Chen

Public Engagement

I tweet regular from the Twitter handle @Tessa M Baker.

Some podcasts I've taken part in:

 ‘Frontiers of Knowledge’ podcast by Yurtesh Sohal, February 2017, available here.

‘Awesome Women Doing Awesome Things’ by Erin Stewart, January 2016, available here.



Winner of the ‘Women of the Future Award’, science category, 2015.

Fulbright All-Disciplines Scholar Award, 2015-2016.

SET for Britain Cavendish medal for Physics, 2014.

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