I N S T I T U T E   O F   A S T R O N O M Y    
H O E N G G E R B E R G   C A M P U S    

Extragalactic Astrophysics &
Observational Cosmology Group


Simon J. Lilly


Postal Address:
ETH Hoenggerberg Campus
Physics Department, HIT J11.2
CH-8093 Zurich
Phone: +41 (0)44 633-3828
Fax: +41 (0)44 633-1238

Secy: +41 (0)44 633-2553
email: simon.lilly@phys.ethz.ch


Curriculum Vitae


1980 B.A. in Natural Sciences (Physics and Theoretical Physics); Cambridge University (UK)
1984 Ph.D. in Astronomy; Edinburgh University (UK)


2002 - present     Professor, ETH Zurich
2000 - 2002   Director General, Herzberg Inst. of Astrophys. (NRC Canada)
1990 - 2000   Associate/Full Professor, University of Toronto
1985 - 1990   Assistant/Associate Professor, University of Hawaii
1984 - 1985   SERC/NATO Research Fellow, Princeton University


Major external activities

1991-1994      Member of the Hubble Space Telescope Users’ Committee (NASA)

1992-1996      Member of the Gemini International Science Committee

1994-1997      Director-at-Large, AURA (Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy)

1994-1996      Joint Subcommittee on Space Astronomy (CSA)

1995-1997      Member of the Advisory Board, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics  (NRC Canada)

1998-2001      Canadian Project Scientist and member of the Science Working Group,  Next Generation Space Telescope (NASA/CSA)

1999-2001      Member of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Scientific Advisory Council

2000-2002      Member of the Gemini International Board of Directors

2000-2002      Member of the ALMA International Co-ordinating Committee

2002-2006      Member of the ESO Scientific and Technical Committee (ESO), also European ALMA Board and ESO Council Scientific Strategy Working Group

2002-              Interdisciplinary Scientist and member of the Flight Science Working Group, James Webb Space Telescope (NASA/ESA)

2003-2006      President, IAU Commission #47 Cosmology (International Astronomical Union)

2004-2007      Member of the Astronomy Working Group (ESA)

2005-2007      Co-ordinator of the “Roadmap for Astronomy in Switzerland 2007-2016”       

2008-              Member of the Euclid Science Study Team (ESA)

2008-              Member of the Advanced Grants Panel (European Research Council)  

2003, 2008     Panel Chair, Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committee (NASA)


2000 - R & B Sackler Lecturer, Leiden University
1997 - 2002   Fellow, Canadian Inst. for Adv. Res.
1996   R & B Sackler Distinguished Visiting Astronomer, Cambridge
1996 - 1997   Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall College, Cambridge


Research Interests


Observational Cosmology and the Formation and Evolution of Structure in the Universe
I am head of the observational cosmology group at the ETH.  Currently, my research group is focussing on four main projects:

zCOSMOS:  a major redshift survey using 600 hours on the ESO VLT to obtain redshifts of approximately 30,000 galaxies in the COSMOS field, in the redshift range 0.1 < z < 3.5.  The project is designed to characterize the environments of galaxies in the distant Universe, from the 100kpc scale of the immediate group environment to the 100 Mpc scale of the cosmic web, and thus to understand the physical processes that shape the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time.

The intergalactic medium:  as an extension of our interest in the environment of galaxies, we are developing new ways to study the intergalactic medium, the gaseous material between galaxies, our of which they form and with which they subsequenty interact.

Magnetic fields in galaxies: A great unknown in cosmic structure formation, and thus usually completely ignored.  We have now been able to detect magnetic fields, of surprisingly high strength, in normal galaxies when the Universe was a third of its present age.

The EUCLID cosmology mission:  A candidate ESA Cosmic Vision mission, Euclid would image the whole sky at a resolution comparable to that of the Hubble Space Telescopee, would obtain infrared photometry a factor of 1000 fainter than the current all-sky survey, and would obtain redshifts for up to 100 millin galaxies.  The goal of EUCLID is to do precision cosmology, including, but not limited to, the determination of the Dark Energy equation of state parameter to a precision of 1%.



Published Papers


Link to an interactive bibliography of ADS published papers


Involvement in Instrumentation


I am involved in several instrumentation projects, including the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), for which I am one of the six Interdisciplinary Scientists and also a member of the NIRCAM Instrument Science Team), and MUSE, a proposed 2nd-generation integral field spectrograph for the ESO VLT,