Portsmouth university professor honoured for work on stars and galaxies

Alan Mak MP with Park Community School headteacher Chris Anders at the Tes Awards parliamentary reception

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A UNIVERSITY professor has been honoured for her work on the evolution of stars and galaxies.

Professor Claudia Maraston, from the University of Portsmouth, has won the Eddington Medal for Astronomy from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Previous recipients include Stephen Hawking, who won in 1975, and Roger Penrose.

Professor Maraston is one of only two women to have ever won the award since its inception in 1953, the other being Professor Cathie Clarke from the University of Cambridge.

She said: ‘In my research I have always tried to push borders and go against the mainstream.

‘This year marks 20 years after my PhD and receiving the Eddington medal is simply the greatest achievement I could hope for.

‘I am very grateful to the Royal Astronomical Society Committee for appreciating my work.’

Professor Maraston, who is based in the university’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, is a world leader in modelling of the spectro-photometric and mass properties of galaxies.

These so-called Stellar Population Models are crucial to study galaxy formation and evolution.

Professor Bob Nichol, director of the institute, said: ‘We congratulate Claudia on receiving this award in recognition of her pioneering work.’