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Professor Mark Birkinshaw

Professor Mark Birkinshaw

Professor Mark Birkinshaw
M.A., Ph.D.(Cantab.), C.Phys., M.Inst.P., F.R.A.S.

William P. Coldrick Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics

Office 3.15
HH Wills Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8775


I work on the large-scale structure of the Universe and the properties of the massive objects contained within it, using both observation and theory. I am particularly known for making the first detections of the change in brightness of the microwave background radiation caused by inverse-Compton scattering in clusters of galaxies (the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect), and in demonstrating how this effect can be used to measure cosmological parameters.

I worked on NASA's Chandra satellite before launch, and use it and other space-based and ground-based telescopes from X-ray to optical to radio bands to study galaxies, especially those hosting massive black holes and showing signs of unusual activity.

In these areas I give professional and public presentations, but I also speak and write on more general astronomical and cosmological topics.


  • astronomy
  • cosmology
  • space science
  • quasars
  • universe
  • galaxies
  • relativity
  • plasma physics

Recent publications

  • Perlman, ES, Birkinshaw, M, Kadler, M, Komissarov, S, Lister, M, Meier, D, Meyer, E, Nakamura, M, Nyland, K, ODea, C, Worrall, D & Zdziarski, A, 2019, ‘Relativistic Jets in the Accretion & Collimation Zone: New Challenges Enabled by New Instruments’. arXiv.
  • O'Sullivan, SP, Machalski, J, Van Eck, CL, Heald, G, Brueggen, M, Fynbo, JPU, Heintz, KE, Lara-Lopez, MA, Vacca, V, Hardcastle, MJ, Shimwell, TW, Tasse, C, Vazza, F, Andernach, H, Birkinshaw, M, Haverkorn, M, Horellou, C, Williams, WL, Harwood, JJ, Brunetti, G, Anderson, JM, Mao, SA, Nikiel-Wroczynski, B, Takahashi, K, Carretti, E, Vernstrom, T, van Weeren, RJ, Orru, E, Morabito, LK & Callingham, JR, 2019, ‘The intergalactic magnetic field probed by a giant radio galaxy’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 622.
  • Wykes, S, Snios, BT, Nulsen, PEJ, Kraft, RP, Birkinshaw, M, Hardcastle, MJ, Worrall, DM, McDonald, I, Rejkuba, M, Jones, TW, Stark, DJ, Forman, WR, Meyer, ET & Jones, C, 2019, ‘A 1D fluid model of the Centaurus A jet’. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  • Schwartz, DA, Siemiginowska, A, Worrall, DM, Birkinshaw, M, Cheung, T, Marshall, H, Migliori, G, Wardle, J & Gobeille, D, 2018, ‘Relativistic X-ray jets at high redshift’. Astronomische Nachrichten.
  • Pacaud, F, Pierre, M, Melin, JB, Adami, C, Evrard, AE, Galli, S, Gastaldello, F, Maughan, BJ, Sereno, M, Alis, S, Altieri, B, Birkinshaw, M, Chiappetti, L, Faccioli, L, Giles, PA, Horellou, C, Iovino, A, Koulouridis, E, Le Fèvre, JP, Lidman, C, Lieu, M, Maurogordato, S, Moscardini, L, Plionis, M, Poggianti, BM, Pompei, E, Sadibekova, T, Valtchanov, I & Willis, JP, 2018, ‘The XXL Survey: XXV. Cosmological analysis of the C1 cluster number counts’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 620.
  • Horellou, C, Intema, HT, Smolčić, V, Nilsson, A, Karlsson, F, Krook, C, Tolliner, L, Adami, C, Benoist, C, Birkinshaw, M, Caretta, C, Chiappetti, L, Delhaize, J, Ferrari, C, Fotopoulou, S, Guglielmo, V, Kolokythas, K, Pacaud, F, Pierre, M, Poggianti, BM, Ramos-Ceja, ME, Raychaudhury, S, Röttgering, HJ & Vignali, C, 2018, ‘The XXL Survey: XXXIV. Double Irony in XXL-North: A tale of two radio galaxies in a supercluster at z = 0.14’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 620.
  • Marulli, F, Veropalumbo, A, Sereno, M, Moscardini, L, Pacaud, F, Pierre, M, Plionis, M, Cappi, A, Adami, C, Alis, S, Altieri, B, Birkinshaw, M, Ettori, S, Faccioli, L, Gastaldello, F, Koulouridis, E, Lidman, C, Le Fèvre, JP, Maurogordato, S, Poggianti, B, Pompei, E, Sadibekova, T & Valtchanov, I, 2018, ‘The XXL Survey: XVI. The clustering of X-ray selected galaxy clusters at z ∼ 0.3’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 620.
  • Adami, C, Giles, P, Koulouridis, E, Pacaud, F, Caretta, CA, Pierre, M, Eckert, D, Ramos-Ceja, ME, Gastaldello, F, Fotopoulou, S, Guglielmo, V, Sadibekova, T, Iovino, A, Maughan, B, Chiappetti, L, Alis, S, Altieri, B, Baldry, I, Bottini, D, Birkinshaw, M, Bremer, M, Brown, M, Cucciati, O, Driver, S, Elmer, E, Ettori, S, Evrard, AE, Faccioli, L, Granett, B, Grootes, M, Guzzo, L, Hopkins, A, Horellou, C, Lefèvre, JP, Liske, J, Malek, K, Marulli, F, Maurogordato, S, Owers, M, Paltani, S & others 2018, ‘The XXL Survey: XX. The 365 cluster catalogue’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 620.
  • Guglielmo, V, Poggianti, BM, Vulcani, B, Adami, C, Gastaldello, F, Ettori, S, Fotoupoulou, S, Koulouridis, E, Ceja, MER, Giles, P, McGee, S, Altieri, B, Baldry, I, Birkinshaw, M, Bolzonella, M, Bongiorno, A, Brown, M, Chiappetti, L, Driver, S, Elyiv, A, Evrard, A, Garilli, B, Grootes, M, Guennou, L, Hopkins, A, Horellou, C, Iovino, A, Lidman, C, Liske, J, Maurogordato, S, Owers, M, Pacaud, F, Paltani, S, Pierre, M, Plionis, M, Ponman, T, Robotham, A, Sadibekova, T, Scodeggio, M, Sereno, M & others 2018, ‘The XXL Survey: XXII. the XXL-North spectrophotometric sample and galaxy stellar mass function in X-ray detected groups and clusters’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 620.
  • Logan, CH, Maughan, BJ, Bremer, MN, Giles, P, Birkinshaw, M, Chiappetti, L, Clerc, N, Faccioli, L, Koulouridis, E, Pacaud, F, Pierre, M, Ramos-Ceja, ME, Vignali, C & Willis, JP, 2018, ‘The XXL Survey: XXXIII. Chandra constraints on the AGN contamination of z > 1 XXL galaxy clusters’. Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol 620.

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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