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James Dunlop Biography

James Dunlop

Gemini Science Committee Chair

James Dunlop is professor of Extragalactic Astronomy, and Head of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh.

He was born in Scotland and obtained a BSc Hons (1st Class) in Physics from the University of Dundee, before moving to the University of Edinburgh to study for a PhD in Astronomy with Malcolm Longair and John Peacock. He obtained his PhD in 1988, with a thesis on the High-Redshift Evolution of Radio Galaxies and Quasars.

Immediately following his PhD, James was appointed to a Lectureship in Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire. In 1992 he moved to Liverpool where, along with Professor Mike Bode he established a new Astrophysics Research Group, a new Astrophysics degree programme, and a Robotic Telescope manufacturing facility.

In 1995 James returned to Edinburgh, where he was promoted to Reader in 1998. In 2000 he was awarded a PPARC Senior Fellowship to allow him to concentrate on research for the next 3 years. In 2002 he was awarded the Scottish Science Award, and a Personal Chair in Extragalactic Astronomy. Following a 6 month sabbatical at UBC, Vancouver in 2003, James returned to Edinburgh to take up the position of Head of the Institute for Astronomy at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh.

James' main research interests are in the cosmological evolution of galaxies and active galactic nuclei, and in the relationship between galaxy formation and central black-hole growth. He has published extensively in the areas of quasar and galaxy evolution, quasar host galaxies, the age-dating of the reddest/oldest galaxies, and the study of the extragalactic sub-mm population of galaxies discovered by SCUBA. In this work he has made, and continues to make extensive use of a wide range of observational facilities including the HST, VLA, JCMT, UKIRT, Keck, Subaru, Gemini, AAT, WHT, INT, KPNO, CTIO, VLT, Chandra and XMM. He has served on a wide range of national and international telescope committees and boards, and joined the Gemini Science Committee in 2004.

James lives in the Scottish Borders with his wife, Fiona Kelly, and his three young children Kirsty, Eva, and Douglas. In what little time remains outside of family and work, he enjoys (and pretends to still be competent at) playing football, golf, the piano and the violin.