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Ofer Lahav

Prof. Ofer Lahav

Perren Chair of Astronomy, Astrophysics Group, University College London

Other current roles:

Chair of the UK consortium of the Dark Energy Survey

Principal Investigator, Advanced European Research Council Grant TESTDE Project

Member of the STFC Science Board

Postal address: Department of Physics and Astronomy
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
Telephone:+44 (0)20 35495813
e-mail:o.lahav AT
Office location: 132 Hampstead Road (3rd Floor), London NW1 2PS

Publications (PDF)
Review Articles

Research TopicsCollaborative ProjectsPresentationsSoftware PackagesMedia

Short Biography

Ofer Lahav is Perren Chair of Astronomy at University College London (UCL). His research area is observational Cosmology, in particular probing and characterising Dark Matter and Dark Energy. His work involves advanced statistical methods. Professor Lahav leads the UK consortium of the Dark Energy Survey (DES), and he co-chaired the international DES Science Committee from the project's early days until 2016. He also holds leadership roles in the next-generation projects, e.g.the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). He is the Principal Investigator of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant on "Testing the Dark Energy Paradigm". He studied at Tel-Aviv University (BSc, 1980), at Ben-Gurion University (MSc, 1985) and earned his Ph.D. (1988) from the University of Cambridge, where he was later a Member of Staff at the Institute of Astronomy (1990-2003) and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. At UCL he served as Head of Astrophysics (2004-2011), establishing Cosmology as a research area, and as Vice-Dean (for Research) of the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (2011-2015). He served as Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society (2010-2012), and currently he is a member of the STFC Science Board. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP) and a Member of the International Astronomical Union. He is also committed to enhancing public outreach and impact on society, for example he has initiated a scheme of artists in residence at UCL.

Research Topics

  • Cosmological probes of Dark Matter and Dark Energy
  • Large spectroscopic and photometric redshift surveys
  • Neutrino Cosmology
  • Formation and evolution of galaxies
  • Statistical methods

See more about UCL's Cosmology Group and DES:UCL

Collaborative international projects

The Dark Energy Survey

Survey of 300,000,000 galaxies to study the nature of Dark Energy
(co-chair of the international DES Science Committee and chair of DES:UK Board)


Hubble Space Telescope imaging survey of galaxy clusters


The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope


Space mission - ESA's Cosmic Vision

Reviews & Semi-popular Articles

"Dark Energy: back to Newton?" Calder, L. & Lahav,O., RAS A&G, Feb 2008 issue (revised version)

"Dark Energy: how the paradigm shifted" Calder, L. & Lahav, O., Physics World, Jan 2010 issue

"Dark Energy, paradigm shifts and the role of evidence " Lahav, O. & Massimi, M., RAS A&G June 2014 issue

"Neutrino mass from Cosmology" Lahav, O. & Thomas, S.A., 2011 - Invited Chapter in `Adventures in Cosmology' (ed. D. Goodstein), World Scientific Publishing

"Let there be darkness, let there be light" Lahav, O., Odyssey magazine (in Hebrew), Jan 2010 issue, pg. 38

"The Cosmological Parameters 2014" Lahav, O. & Liddle, A.R., 2014 - Invited review, in "The Review of Particle Physics" (Particle Data Group)

Software Packages

ANNz: Photometric redshifts using Artificial Neural Networks (Collister & Lahav 2004)

ExoFit: Orbital parameters of extra-solar planets from radial velocities using Bayesian MCMC (Balan & Lahav 2008)

Public Outreach

UCL Lunch Hour Lecture: Light and Darkness in the Accelerating Universe:

TateShots: Artist Katie Paterson talks to Ofer Lahav about the mysteries of the universe:

Video interview to the Economist (February 2012)

Last Updated: 10 October 2016

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