Rob Ivison

ESO Director for Science
Image of Rob Ivison
Postal address ESO Karl Schwarzschild Strasse 2 D-85748 Garching Munich Germany

Academic interests

  • Galaxy evolution, primarily via observations at FIR/submm/radio wavelengths
  • Masers
  • Dust production, particularly in SNe

My time is split between managing the Directorate of Science at ESO, supervising PhD students, writing proposals to use or build telescopes, analysing data, and writing papers, working in a field I perceive to represent the divine intersection of science and art. What I do is esoteric by most standards, but normal in astrophysics. I meddle mainly with faint smudges in far-flung regions of the Universe. The golden rule seems to be that I get interested in things that are ridiculously difficult to study and explain.


  • 1985–1992:       University of Central Lancashire, UK
  • 1992:                 PhD, Supervisors: Profs Mike Bode and Ian Robson
  • 1988:                  BSc (1st class Joint Honours) Astronomy and Physics

Positions held

  • 2014–                ESO Director for Science

  • 2013–                Professor of Astrophysics, University of Edinburgh                     

  • 2013–                Subject Editor, Royal Society Open Science, Royal Society

  • 2001–2013       Senior Research Fellow, Senior Management Team, UKATC

  • 1998–2001       Lecturer, UCL

  • 1997–1998       PPARC Advanced Fellow, University of Edinburgh

  • 1994–1997       Higher Scientific Officer, Royal Observatory Edinburgh

  • 1992–1994       NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, based at University of Toronto and Caltech


Tags: Galaxy evolution, WP1-Governance, ESO
Published Mar. 3, 2021 1:55 PM - Last modified Mar. 12, 2021 3:39 PM