Profile Details

ESA/AURA Astronomer II
Christopher Clark headshot

My research centres on understanding the interstellar medium, of galaxies — what its properties are, and what it can tell us about how galaxies have changed over the history of the Universe. I especially focus on cosmic dust, and the unique window it provides onto how galaxies have developed from clouds of basic primordial gas into evolved systems — enriched with the heavy elements that go on to form new stars and planets (and occasionally astronomers). I am currently focusing on how dust properties change within and between local galaxies. An obstacle in studying this until now has been that high-resolution telescopes are unable to detect large-scale diffuse emission from dust. Low-resolution telescopes are sensitive to this large-scale emission, but of course have much less spatial (and therefore density) resolution. I am working on combining these data to provide the first complete view of dust in local galaxies. I'm an architect of the JINGLE large programme at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), which is observing the cold ISM in a statistical sample of low-redshift galaxies. I'm also involved with the Scylla large programme on the Hubble Space Telescope (investigating the ISM and star-formation histories of dwarf galaxies); with the NESS (observing evolved stars in the Milky Way) and HASHTAG (observing gas & dust in the Andromeda galaxy) large programmes at the JCMT; and with the the IMEGIN large programme at the IRAM 30m telescope (which is using the advanced new NIKA2 camera to observe nearby galaxies at under-exploited millimetre wavelengths). I'm also a member of the EU-funded DustPedia project.


PhD in Astronomy, Cardiff University
MPhys in Astrophysics, Cardiff University


Research Topics: Star Formation, Histories, and Evolution, Local Group Galaxies, Galaxy Formation and Evolution, Interstellar Medium, Dust, Supernovae and Remnants, Astrochemistry, Chemical Abundances


Professional Websites:

ISM @ STScI Group Website

DustPedia Project Website


ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7959-4902


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