UCL Astrophysics Group


First Light Team

  • Richard Ellis - Principal Investigator
  • Mark Cunningham - PhD Student
  • Aayush Saxena - Research Associate (University of Oxford) and Honorary Research Associate (UCL)
  • Yuichi Harikane - Assistant Professor (ICRR, University of Tokyo) and Honorary Research Associate (UCL)
  • Harley Katz - Visitor (University of Oxford)
  • Nicolas Laporte -  Senior Research Scientist (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, Marseille)
  • Kimihiko Nakajima - Assistant Professor (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Tokyo)

Previous Team members

  • Mengtao Tang - Research Associate (now at University of Arizona, Tucson)
  • Sarah Bosman - Research Associate  (now at Max Planck Institute, Heidelberg)
  • Koki Kakiichi - Research Associate (now at University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • Guido Roberts-Borsani - Research Associate (now at University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Romain Meyer - PhD Student (now Research Associate at Max Planck Institute, Heidelberg)
  • Pascal Förster - PhD Student
  • Tom Fletcher - PhD Student
  • Kiana Kade - MSc Student
  • James Ray - MSc Student
  • Adi Ramani - Summer Intern
  • Emma Cryer - Summer Intern
  • David Puskas - Summer Intern
  • Scarlet Lines - Summer Intern
  • Rebecca Martin - Project Manager (now Research Grants officer, P&A)
  • Anita Maguire - Project Manager
  • Minh Cao - Project Manager

Group Photos

Farewell to Rebecca Martin September 14th 2021!

After 4 years' service as Project Manager, Rebecca moved on and upwards to a new role as Senior Research Officer in the Department. To thank her for her sterling service we enjoyed a farewell lunch in a nearby Turkish restaurant.  

All the best and thanks Rebecca!

From L-R:  Mark Cunningham, Harley Katz, Rebecca Martin, Ofer Lahav, Mengtao Tang, Richard Ellis, Aayush Saxena, Emma Cryer, Fabian Krause


Post-lock down group lunch 28th April 2021

To celebrate the gradual release of lockdown, the group had lunch together for the first time since September 2020 at the Bleeding Heart Bistro in a cobbled courtyard near Holborn, London. Urban legend has it that the courtyard’s name commemorates the murder of Lady Elizabeth Hatton whose family formerly owned the wealthy area. It is said her body was found here on 27 January 1646 with her heart still pumping blood. Despite this gruesome history, a good time was had by all!

Group lunch

After a sumptous lunch we visited nearby Ely Place, which used to be the London townhouse of the Bishops of Ely, Cambridgeshire from 1290 to 1772. Remarkably, until recently, this part of London was considered to be Cambridgeshire, with its own gatehouse (pictured) and beadles (a sort of police force).

From L-R: Mengtao Tang, Rebecca Martin, Mark Cunningham, Aayush Saxena, Pascal Förster


First Light Summer Outing - July 2020

A slightly different summer outing in London during the Covid-19 pandemic (and the first 'in-person' meeting for the team since March!).

From L-R: Aayush Saxena, Sarah Bosman, Richard Ellis, Pascal Förster












First Light Summer Outing - July 2019

On 17 July 2019, the First Light team took a summer outing - a self driven boat trip down the Regent's Canal.

View more photos of our trip here.

From L-R: Adi Ramani, Rebecca Martin, James Ray, Sarah Bosman, Romain Meyer, Richard Ellis, Koki Kakiichi, Kiana Kade, Nicolas Laporte, Guido Roberts-Borsani


The First Light team at UCL - October 2018

From L - R: Rebecca Martin, Romain Meyer, Koki Kakiichi, Guido Roberts-Borsani, Richard Ellis, Kiana Kade, Sarah Bosman, Nicolas Laporte