Your Contacts

Dr Martin Dominik
ARTEMiS coordinator and expert in microlensing event interpretation

Royal Society University Research Fellow
SUPA, University of St Andrews
School of Physics & Astronomy, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-1334-463068 or +44-1334-470305, E-mail:

Martin was born in 1969 in Hagen (Germany) and received his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1997 from University of Dortmund (Germany). After having worked at the Space Telescope Science Institute (United States) and as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of Rijksuniverseit Groningen (The Netherlands), he came to the University of St Andrews (United Kingdom) in 2003. In 2006, he was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. Martin has more than a decade of experience in the interpretation of gravitational microlensing events, acted as the co-leader of the PLANET (Probing Lensing Anomalies NETwork) collaboration, has written several theoretical papers on microlensing, works on devising optimal strategies for planet detection, and is now coordinating ARTEMiS. His work was essential for discovering OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb, the first cool rocky/icy exoplanet and the most Earth-like one known at that time. Together with Nicholas Rattenbury, Martin implemented the SIGNALMEN anomaly detector, which paves the way for detecting planets of Earth mass and below with current microlensing campaigns. He also provided tools for real-time visualization that allow to see planet detections in progress, and is ambitious about making forefront scientific research accessible to the wide public. Martin likes facing a challenge and realizing unusual approaches.

Prof Keith Horne
RoboNet microlensing programme and automated target selection

Professor of Astronomy
SUPA, University of St Andrews
School of Physics & Astronomy, North Haugh, St Andrews, KY16 9SS, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-1334-463322, E-mail:

Keith has pioneered the search for extra-solar planets exploiting the technique of gravitational microlensing using robotic telescopes, which are ideally suited for time-critical programmes due to their flexible scheduling and fast response time. He devised the first algorithm that distributes telescope time amongst observable targets in order to maximize the planet detection efficiency. As principal investigator of the RoboNet microlensing programme, he has contributed to the vast majority of the microlensing planet discoveries to date, the five Earth-mass planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb being the most spectacular of these. He is also involved in the SuperWASP consortium, hunting for planets from transits in front of their host stars. Beyond the study of extra-solar planets and the implications for extra-terrestrial life, Keith is interested in a wide range of further topics, including in particular Active Galactic Nuclei, astrotomography, and alternative theories of gravity.

Dr Nicholas J. Rattenbury
Anomaly detection and event modelling

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics
Alan Turing Building, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-161-275 4087, Fax: +44-161-275 4247, E-mail:

Nicholas received his PhD from The University of Auckland, New Zealand, for his work on the detection of extra-solar planets via high-magnification microlensing events. Prior to this he spent 6 months observing at the Mount John University Observatory in the South Island of New Zealand for the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA) collaboration. Nicholas has been a member of the MOA collaboration since 1998, and is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester, England. His research interests have extended to include the use of the OGLE microlensing suvey datasets for investigations into Galactic dynamics, structure and nearby stars. Along with Martin Dominik, Nicholas developed SIGNALMEN, a code for the automatic detection of planetary anomalies in microlensing events. Nicholas is co-creator, co-producer and interviewer for The Jodcast, a twice-monthly astronomy podcast from The University of Manchester. In his spare time (?), Nicholas can be found reaching a state of calm practicing t'ai chi.

Dr Valerio Bozza
Real-time modelling of binary-lens events

Staff Researcher
Università degli Studi di Salerno
Dipartimento di Fisica "Eduardo R. Caianiello"
Via Ponte Don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano (SA), Italy
Phone: +39-089-969347, E-mail:

Valerio was born in 1976 in Salerno (Italy). He got his PhD in 2002 with a thesis on Pre-Big Bang cosmology, under the joint supervision of Gaetano Scarpetta and Gabriele Veneziano at CERN. He then got a Prestige Grant from "Centro Enrico Fermi" for staying three more years at CERN. He then moved back to Salerno to become a staff researcher in 2011. He has always cultivated multiple interests: String Cosmology, Cosmological perturbations, Maximal Acceleration, Gravitational lensing, Supermassive Black Holes, and Microlensing of course. He is now working on a completely automatic real-time modelling software, which should yield models for binary and planetary microlensing events within one hour without any human intervention. He is also active in fine modelling of specific events. He loves mountaineering and is also committed to the local section of the Italian Alpine Club.

Dr Yiannis Tsapras
Data analysis and event modelling

Post-doctoral Research Astronomer
Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network
1 Morpeh Wharf, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH41 1NQ, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-151-650 3100, Fax: +44-151-650 3113, E-mail:

Yiannis was born in Athens (Greece) in 1975. He received an MSc in Radioastronomy from The University of Manchester (England) in 1999 for his work in characterizing weather effects on various instruments used for studies of the Cosmic Microwave Background. With moving to the University of St Andrews (Scotland), his research interests shifted to extra-solar planets and to the optical part of the electromagnetic spectrum. In 2002, he received a PhD in Astronomy for his research work on modelling and analyzing microlensing events. Since then, Yiannis has worked at Queen Mary, University of London (England) as a member of the POINT-AGAPE team and as a term-time lecturer, and more recently, he has held a data-analysis position at the Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) of Liverpool John Moores University (England), substantially contributing to the success of the PLANET/RoboNet microlensing campaign. Currently, Yiannis holds a research contract with Las Cumbres Observatory, and continues his work on extra-solar planets and public science outreach. When not looking for new planets, he can be most commonly found gaming on-line, or with a book in his hands, or listening to chilled-out music while drinking freshly brewed coffee.

Dr Colin Snodgrass
Event prioritisation

ESO Post-doctoral Research Fellow
European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
Phone: +56-2-463 3069, E-mail:

Colin Snodgrass is a Scottish astronomer. He studied at St Andrews, graduating with a MSci in Astrophysics in 2003. He became involved in the search for extra- solar planets by microlensing at St Andrews during 2002 and 2003, working on the development of the web-PLOP observation prioritisation system and on the use of microlensing data to put constraints on the population of planets towards the the galactic bulge. Colin then moved to Queen's University, Belfast in Northern Ireland where he changed fields slightly and obtained (in 2006) his PhD based on studies of the nuclei of comets. Colin now works at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, where he is a post-doctoral research fellow. He combines functional work as a member of the La Silla Science Operations team with his research. This research covers a broad spectrum of planetary science, continuing the comets and Solar System work from his PhD and also returning to work on extra-solar planets and in particular microlensing. He is involved in updating the observing prioritisation system to maximise the chances of detecting planets with robotic telescopes, working with the RoboNet collaboration, and also observes in the old fashioned human based way for the PLANET project, who use the Danish 1.54m telescope on La Silla. When not travelling or spending time on a mountain for work, Colin likes to travel and climb mountains.

Dr Rachel Street
Hunting for exoplanets at Las Cumbres Observatory

Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network
6740 Cortona Dr. Suite 102, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, United States of America
Phone: +1-805-880 1631, E-mail:

Rachel graduated with a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of St Andrews in 2002 having specialized in searching for extra-solar planets using the method of transits to survey open clusters with the Wide Field Camera on the Isaac Newton Telescope, La Palma. While no planets were found, the work encouraged an interest in the low mass binaries which are a natural by-product of this type of survey. Rachel became involved with the WASP Consortium during this time and moved to Queen's University, Belfast to work on the SuperWASP project, contributing primarily to the development of the data reduction pipeline and to the selection and analysis of candidates. The WASP Consortium announced the discovery of two new transiting planets in 2006, and three further ones in 2007. Rachel joined Las Cumbres Observatory in February 2007 as a post-doc affiliated with the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). In addition to SuperWASP, she is collaborating with the RoboNet microlensing project, using the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network to identify planetary anomalies in ongoing galactic microlensing events.

Prof Shude Mao

Theory of Gravitational Microlensing

Professor of Astrophysics
Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics , University of Manchester
Alan Turing Building, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-161-2754197, E-mail:

Shude Mao was born in 1966 in China, pursued his undergraduate degree at University of Science & Technology of China (1984-1988) and PhD at Princeton University and from 1988-1992. He then travelled to Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (1992-1995) and Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics (1995-1999) for two postdocs. He has been in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of University of Manchester since December 1999. He started to work on microlensing under the guidance of Prof. Bohdan Paczynski at Princeton University. He is interested in a variety of topics on microlensing, including binary & planetary microlensing, and the study of Galactic structure using microlensing data. His other interests are on galaxy formation and galactic dynamics.

Dr Lukasz Wyrzykowski
OGLE team member, observing and modelling of microlensing events

STFC Research Associate
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-1223-337504, E-mail: or

Lukasz was born in 1977 in Choszczno (Poland), studied astronomy at the Physics Faculty of Warsaw University and graduated in 2001. He got involved in the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) project in 2000 and in his PhD thesis at the Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory (under supervision of Prof. Andrzej Udalski) he analysed the microlensing data of the Galactic Bulge from the OGLE. During his doctorate studies he spent the academic year 2003/2004 as a researcher in the Wise Observatory at Tel-Aviv University (Israel). In 2004/2005 he was a Marie Curie Training Site Fellow in the Jodrell Bank Observatory at Manchester University (UK) and worked with Prof. Shude Mao. He also spent a month in 2005 working with Prof. Bohdan Paczynski at Princeton University. After finishing his PhD in 2005, he started his 2.5 years postdoc, funded by the European-Union sponsored Marie Curie network ANGLES, in the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, where in 2008, he started his work on photometry and science alerts of the GAIA satellite. He is actively involved in the OGLE project taking his observing runs in Chile and analysing the data. His main interests cover detecting microlensing events and their anomalies due to planets, binary lens or variable stars, modelling exotic events and applying the microlensing technique to studies of various stellar populations.
His name is pronounced as: woo-cash vy-zy-kov-ski.

Dr Eamonn Kerins

PPARC/STFC Advanced Fellow and Lecturer
Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics , University of Manchester
Alan Turing Building, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-161-2754191, E-mail:

Dr Peter Wheatley

Associate Professor
Department of Physics, University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
Phone: +44-247-657 4330, E-mail: