Dr Ben Maughan, Reader in the Astrophysics
I study clusters of galaxies, which are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the Universe, containing thousands of galaxies and massive amounts of X-ray emitting plasma. Their number and properties are sensitive to the initial conditions of the Universe and its subsequent evolution, allowing clusters to be sensitive probes of cosmology. They are also cosmic laboratories in which to study the transformations of galaxies, and the complex feedback loops that connect the properties of galaxy clusters, their member galaxies, and the supermassive black holes within those galaxies.
I did a degree in Astrophysics at Cardiff University, followed by a PhD at Birmingham University. Then I spent three years as a Chandra Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Boston, before coming to Bristol as a lecturer.
I really enjoy interacting with students through my teaching, and particularly getting them involved in my research through project work. I have been given a University of Bristol rising star award, and two School of Physics teaching awards for my teaching.
I have a flexible working arrangement that allows me to work at home one day per week to help with childcare.