I'm a Professor of Astronomy at UCL, and a member of the Stars & Galaxies subgroup.
I was born -- very recently -- in Portsmouth (aka `Sunny Southsea' in the brochures), and am thereby condemned to follow the very variable fortunes of its Football Team. I now live in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire; the area's other famous residents include the glamorous and talented (and now sadly lamented) Cilla Black, and former England, Arsenal and Man City goalkeeper David Seaman.
My research interests span all the Hot-Star Group's projects, and I'm also interested in interstellar absorption-line spectroscopy and the applications of statistical techniques in astronomy. I was a `back-yard' astronomer before starting my professional career, and still follow amateur activities, especially variable-star work, with interest; I've also processed a number of night-sky images from data obtained in my back garden, or at UCL's Mill Hill Observatory. I've been Senior Secretary to, and Vice-President of, the Royal Astronomical Society, and maintain a mirror of the Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Outside the Department, I enjoy the complete suite of dweeb passtimes: listening to Radio 4, birdwatching, orchids (some of my photos), politely refusing alcoholic beverages... Unfortunately, having been born too late for The Age of Steam, I never developed into train-spotting.
Favourites include: hamsters , Rocky Mountain National Park, Madagascar, Julia Fordham, Here and There in The Observatory magazine.