Richard S. Ellis

Bio Outline


  • Associate Fellow
  • Gravity & the Extreme Universe


  • European Southern Observatory
  • University College London


  • Germany


PhD (Astrophysics), Oxford University
BSc (Astronomy), University College London


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. et al. "Cosmic Reionization and Early Star-Forming Galaxies: A Joint Analysis of New Constraints from Planck and Hubble Space Telescope." Astrophys. J. Lett. 802, no. 2 (February 2015): 5.

Ellis, R.S. "Observations of the High Redshift Universe." In First Light in the Universe, edited by D. Schaerer et al., 259–359. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2008.


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