Matt Jarvis

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Matt Jarvis

Professor of Astrophysics and Fellow, St Cross College

I am a Professor of Astrophysics and non-tutorial fellow at St Cross College and hold a teaching association with Brasenose College. I also hold an Adjunct Professorship at the University of the Western Cape, in South Africa. Prior to this I was a Reader in Astrophysics at the University of Hertfordshire, having held postdoctoral positions at both Oxford and Leiden.

I'm also chair of the physics department Equality & Diversity Committee.
I believe that science significantly benefits from having a diverse group of people pushing towards a common goal, where ideas can be freely put forward and pursued and where help is always on hand.

When not in the office you can usually find me playing or watching sport.

My research spans most of observational extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. I carried out work on investigating the role of AGN in galaxy formation and how this may evolve over cosmic time. Based on this work I led the development of the simulations of the radio sky for the Square Kilometre Array Design Study. Over the past few years the bulk of my time has been taken up by the Herschel-ATLAS ( and the VISTA Deep Extragalactic Observations (VIDEO) Survey (

VIDEO is a 12, Z,Y,J,H,K survey specifically designed to enable galaxy and cluster/structure evolution to be traced as a function of both epoch and environment from the present day out to z=4, and AGN and the most massive galaxies up to and into the epoch of reionization. With its depth and area, VIDEO can fully probe the epoch of activity in the Universe, where AGN and starburst activity were at their peak and the first galaxy clusters were beginning to virialise. VIDEO therefore offers a unique data set with which to investigate the interplay between AGN, starbursts and environment, and the role of feedback at a time when it is most crucial.VIDEO has been allocated ~200 nights on the VISTA telescope in Chile and is around 4 years into the observing schedule.

I am also heavily involved in developing the science case for the new generation of radio facilities on the pathway to the SKA. I sit on the management committees for the LOFAR Surveys Key Science Project and led the cosmology working groups for all of these which has resulted in a number of studies investigating what cosmological constraints we can obtain from these massive radio surveys. Given my multi-wavelength background I also lead the ancillary data working groups for two other MeerKAT Surveys (MESMER and LADUMA). Over the coming years I will be using data from the MeerKAT MIGHTEE Survey, for which I am the co-PI. The aims of MIGHTEE are to understand how galaxies form and evolve through measuring their radio continuum, neutral hydrogen and polarisation properties through radio observations. The fields that we survey are those covered by the VIDEO survey and these will also be covered by the LSST Deep Drilling Fields at visible wavelengths.

As such I am also heavily involved in developing new photometric redshift algorithms for both LSST and Euclid.

Given my experience in all these area, I am looking at what we can learn in terms of galaxy formation and cosmology, by combining the information from all of these major astronomical facilities.

A full list of my publications can be found here

I am a board member of the Isaac Newton Group of telescopes on La Palma, and sit on the LOFAR-UK Management Committee.
I'm also a member of the panel to provide a strategic plan for the advancement of astronomy and astrophysics in South Africa.