Astrophysics Research Institute PhD student receives only UK award from NASA

Image of Emma Beasor

LJMU has the highest number of Hubble Fellowships in the UK, as one of their latest awards goes to an Astrophysics Research Institute (ARI) student straight out of her PhD. Dr Emma Beasor was also the only UK student awarded a Fellowship this year.

Dr Emma Beasor’s postgraduate research has shown that the amount of mass stars lose before they explode is much lower than previously thought, meaning that black-holes could form at a much higher rate. Now this work has been recognised by NASA who want her to develop the research through their Hubble Fellowship, making her one of the youngest ever chosen for this programme.

The NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) supports outstanding postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research which contributes to NASA Astrophysics, using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrumental development.

Dr Emma Beasor commented:

“To be awarded this fellowship is a huge honour. I’m so excited to take the next step in my research career with the support of the NHFP. My PhD at LJMU has opened so many doors for me, I’ve been able to attend many international conferences and even go observing at the Very Large Telescope in Chile.  As a teenager, it was my dream to become a scientist and get involved in cutting edge research. The numbers of women in astronomy and physics are increasing and I’d encourage any woman who feels inspired to go for it!”

Her thesis advisor Dr Ben Davies from LJMU’s ARI, commented: “It's almost unheard of for a UK student to get one of these straight out of a PhD. Emma will now travel to the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Arizona and use their powerful supercomputers to calculate how massive stars end their lives.’

“This is our second Hubble fellow in the last three years, more than the rest of the UK universities combined,” added Professor Chris Collins, who is the Director of the Astrophysics Research Institute. “We are tremendously proud of Emma. Hubble Fellowships are the highest benchmark of research excellence in astrophysics internationally for young researchers, and the research carried out by Hubble Fellows helps us to explore and understand the universe.”


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