UCL Astrophysics Group


Mark Cunningham, PhD Student

Mark Cunningham
I am a PhD student in the ‘First Light’ team of Prof Dr Richard Ellis, working under his and Dr. Aayush Saxena’s supervision. I have only very recently started my studies at UCL and am investigating the cosmic epoch of reionization. My primary focus will be identifying high red shift galaxies with extreme emission lines using the unique VANDELS  dataset. With such an approach, we can paint a complete picture about the components (stars, gas, dust) in early galaxies and how they affect their surroundings in the hope to understand more about the epoch of reionization.  

The second part of my PhD will be working on the 4-metre Multi-Object Spectrograph Telescope (4MOST) instrument which is a fibre fed multi-object spectrograph for the VISTA telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile under the supervision of Prof Peter Doel.

I graduated from Queens University in Belfast with a First Class Hons which was an integrated 4 years MSc, completing my masters under the supervision of Dr. Gianluca Sarri, looking at generating High-quality Positron Beams from Laser-driven Particle Accelerators, where I was directly involved in the experimental and data analysis side of the experiment using the in house TARANIS laser.