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Richard S. Ellis


  • Associate Fellow
  • Gravity & the Extreme Universe


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Richard Ellis is an observational cosmologist who studies galaxy formation and large scale structure.

He uses a variety of observational facilities to trace the distribution of dark matter over a wide range of scales, and to explore the earliest galaxies which are thought to have ionized the universe. Ellis takes a special interest in gravitational lensing, or how matter’s gravitational field can bend light on its path between a source and an observer. He is leading an international effort to build an instrument that will trace the growth of structures directly from patterns in the large-scale distribution of faint galaxies, and is currently using the Hubble Space Telescope and large ground-based telescopes to characterize the properties of the most distant galaxies.


  • Breakthrough Foundation Prize in Fundamental Physics, 2014
  • Commander of the British Empire, 2008
  • Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize, 2007
  • Fellow of the Royal Society, 1995

Relevant Publications

  • Robertson, B.E., Ellis, R.S., Furlanetto, S. R., et al. (2015). Cosmic reionization and early star-forming galaxies: A joint analysis of new constraints from planck and hubble space telescope. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 802(2), 5. DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/802/2/L19
  • Ellis, R.S. (2008). Observations of the High Redshift Universe. In D. Schaerer, A. Hempel, & D. Puy (Eds.) First Light in the Universe (pp 259–359). Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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