Royal Astronomical Society award

The Institute for Astronomy's Prof. James Dunlop has been awarded the 2014 George Darwin Lectureship by the Royal Astronomical Society. The Lecture is given annually, on a topic in astronomy, cosmology or astroparticle physics.

Prof. Dunlop is Head of the Institute for Astronomy, having previously held this position from 2002-2007. He has also received a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and currently holds an ERC Advanced Investigator Award.

"I am very honoured and pleased by this award of the George Darwin Lectureship from the RAS, especially given the impressive list of previous recipients. I would like to thank whoever nominated me, and also the awards committee of the RAS for providing me with such a positive start to 2014." Prof. James Dunlop

Award citation

Professor James Dunlop FRSE of the University of Edinburgh has played a leading role in transforming our understanding of how galaxies form. He has pioneered new fields of study and then established them as mature areas of research, often by leading major new observational programmes. The first systematic study of quasar host galaxies was carried out by Professor Dunlop, and he went on to discover that their basic properties are indistinguishable from their inactive counterparts.

He has demonstrated that the most massive radio galaxies and black holes formed before most of their lower mass counterparts, an effect known as 'downsizing'. Through his leadership on age-dating galaxies, he provided the first evidence that massive galaxies formed at redshifts greater than 5. He took sub-mm astronomy from its infancy, through developments in instrumentation with SCUBA, to establish the basic properties of star-forming galaxies shrouded in cosmic dust, and has played key roles in studying the formation of the very first galaxies.

For these reasons, Professor Dunlop is awarded the 2014 George Darwin Lectureship.