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Phil Charles

PhD in X-ray Astronomy

Prof Charles was born in Fareham, England, in 1950 and obtained a BSc in astronomy at University College London in 1972, before going on to take his PhD on the subject of `X-ray Emitting Supernova Remnants' under Prof J.L. Culhane at that university's Mullard Space Science Laboratory.  During 1976-80 he worked at the Space Sciences Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley on data from the HEAO-1 X-ray satellite and at Lick Observatory on the optical counterparts of X-ray sources.  He was a Lecturer in Astronomy at Oxford from 1980-87 and was Principal Investigator on the ISIS spectrograph for the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma. During this period his research concentrated on ground and space-based observations of compact X-ray sources, and he was a frequent observer with the SAAO telescopes. From 1987-92 he was Head of the Astronomy Group at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma, following which he resumed his position at Oxford. In 1994 he was appointed Head of Astrophysics at Oxford and a Professor of Physics.  In 2000 he was appointed to a newly-created Chair of Astronomy at Southampton University, and was responsible for negotiating Southampton's membership of the UK SALT Consortium.  His current interests include black hole X-ray binaries, fundamental parameters of neutron stars and black holes, X-ray transients, X-ray emitting globular clusters and time-domain astrophysics.  Phil is now the director of the South African Astronomical Observatory.

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