Matt Darnley's Web Site

A little bit about me

I am a Reader in Time Domain Astrophysics and Head of Teaching at the Astrophysics Research Institute of Liverpool John Moores University, UK. My research interests are closely focused around Classical and Recurrent Novae, particularly their progenitor systems and extragalactic populations, and their link to Type Ia Supernovae. I have also worked in the area of gravitational microlensing and general time-domain astronomy, with a focus on observations and techniques.

A full list of my refereed publications is available here.

I was the chair of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and a member of the Science Organising Committee for the joint EAS European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) and RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) in Liverpool 2018 - the largest Astronomy meeting ever held in the UK! I continued in an advisory role for the EWASS 2019 LOC. In 2017 I was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Research Project of the Year (STEM) Award, and won a University of Liverpool Student Experience Staff Award for my work on the Mission to Mars programme.

My undergraduate degree in Physics (MPhys) is from Lincoln College, University of Oxford; where my dissertation focussed on optimal object detection algorithms for cosmological surveys. In 2001 I joined LJMU and three and a half years later, I received a PhD in Astrophysics based on the Classical Nova population of the Andromeda Galaxy. In 2005 I spent six months employed as a PPARC PDRA working on the Angstrom Extragalactic Microlensing Project, before being appointed as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, and subsequently a Reader in Time Domain Astrophysics.

As Head of Teaching I have overall responsibility for the five undergraduate and postgraduate programmes run by the ARI. I lead the Practical Astrophysics II (Field Trip) and the award winning 'Physics Icebreaker Project' (Mission to Mars) modules on the Joint Astrophysics Degrees taught by LJMU and the University of Liverpool. I am the leader of the Time Domain Astrophysics module for our MSc by Distance Learning programmes. From 2016 until 2019 I was the Programme Director for our undergraduate programmes, and from 2013 until 2016 I was the undergraduate admissions tutor for Astrophysics in Liverpool.

I am also a Member of the Institute of Physics, have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. More recently I have been joined the International Astronomical Union and the European Astronomical Society, and have been elected to the committee of the Merseyside Branch of the Institute of Physics. Since 2005, I have held an honorary lectureship at the University of Liverpool.

I am currently the Astrophysics External Examiner at the University of Hertforshire and a member of the Management Committee at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.