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Fellows Directory

Simon Lilly

Simon Lilly

Professor Simon Lilly FRS


Elected: 2014


Simon Lilly is an astrophysicist who is learning about the formation and evolution of galaxies over the last 10 billion years through observational studies. He combines observations of the distant Universe — collected at the world’s foremost ground- and space-based telescopes — with large surveys of the local Universe to better understand the Universe’s overall appearance and structure.

Simon’s earliest work produced the first definitive measurements of the history of star formation in the Universe. His results provided support for existing models of galaxy formation that were founded in theory.

More recently, through the zCOSMOS project, Simon has sought to identify the physical processes that shape the properties of galaxies over cosmic time in different space environments. He is also working to find new ways of detecting the intergalactic medium — the gaseous material that galaxies form from and later exchange material with.

Professional positions

Professor, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich
Professor, Department of Physics, ETH Zurich

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Astronomy and physics
    • Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology
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