Dr James Allison

Fixed Term Student (Career Development Fellow) in Astrophysics


MPhys in Physics, University of Oxford (St Peter’s), 2006
DPhil in Astrophysics, University of Oxford (Jesus), 2011

Academic Background

As a DPhil student in the Experimental Radio Cosmology group at the University of Oxford I studied the hot X-ray emitting plasma in clusters of galaxies.

After completing my doctoral thesis in 2010 I moved to Sydney, Australia, where I held two consecutive research fellowships - an Australian Research Council Super Science Fellowship at the University of Sydney (2010 - 2014) and the Bolton Fellowship in radio astronomy at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (2014 - 2017). During this time I developed new techniques for detecting and modelling the neutral interstellar medium in galaxies at cosmological distances, and produced the first scientific results with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder.

After a short spell in 2017-2018 as an ASTRO3D Fellow at the University of Sydney, I moved to Christ Church, Oxford as a Career Development Fellow in Astrophysics.

Undergraduate Teaching

I am a Physics Tutor at Christ Church.

Research Interests

My current research interests are focused on understanding how the cold gas in galaxies has shaped their evolution over the past 10 billion years. Cold gas is known to be important in star formation and supermassive black hole growth, but we know little about how it has evolved during much of the history of the Universe. I am using the most sophisticated radio telescopes in the world to establish a census of this gas, its physical properties, and how it relates to the properties and environments of the galaxies in which it is found.


My research is published in several of the major astronomical and general science journals. An up-to-date collection can be found here.

Hobbies and interests

Hiking, Hockey, Chess, German-style boardgames, Napoleonic history.

Departmental webpage

More information about my research projects and teaching can be found here.