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Prof. Dr. Rob Ivison

I am the Director for Science at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), on secondment from the Institute for Astronomy (IfA), part of the University of Edinburgh, where I am Professor of Astrophysics. I study the formation and evolution of galaxies, mainly via observations at far-infrared, submillimetre and radio wavelengths. I currently lead science projects with the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) in Chile and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) near Socorro in New Mexico. My time is split between managing the Directorate of Science at ESO, supervising PhD students, writing proposals to use or build telescopes, analysing data, and writing papers in a field he perceives to represent the divine intersection of science and art. What I do is esoteric by most standards, but normal in astrophysics. I meddl mainly with faint smudges in far-flung regions of the Universe. The golden rule seems to be that I get interested in things that are ridiculously difficult to study and explain.

Research interests:

  • Galaxy evolution
  • Starburst galaxies and AGN
  • The ISM


Contact Address:

Prof. Dr. Rob Ivison
European Southern Observatory
Karl-Schwarzschild Str. 2
85748 Garching bei Muenchen, Germany

E-Mail: rob.ivison @

Phone: +49-89-3200-6914