Rob Fender
Head of Astronomy Research Group, University of Southampton
Welcome


I am head of the Astronomy Research Group at The University of Southampton in the UK.
At Southampton I am also Deputy Head of Physics and Astronomy (Research). I am also a Visiting SKA Professor in the Astronomy Group at The University of Cape Town.


My research is focussed into two main, related, areas: Radio Transients and Black Hole Accretion.
Radio Transients


I am co-Principal Investigator (along with Ben Stappers [Manchester] and Ralph Wijers [Amsterdam]) of the LOFAR Transients Key Science Project.
I am also co-PI (with Patrick Woudt [Cape Town]) of the ThunderKAT image-plane radio transients Large Survey Project for the South African SKA pathfinder, MeerKAT.
In 2011 I was awarded a 3Meuro, five-year, Advanced Investigator Grant by the European Research Council, for the project '4 PI SKY', whose aim is to coordinate and optimise the discovery, classification, community alerts and follow-up of astrophysical transients found by radio telescopes.

A review of this growing field can be found in:
"Radio transients: an antediluvian review"
Fender & Bell, 2011, BASI, 39, 315
For more papers from 4 PI SKY, see here.

Black Hole Accretion


I have been heavily involved for a long time in the observational study of accretion around black holes of all masses (and to a lesser extent also around neutron stars and white dwarfs), sites of some of the most extreme physics in our universe.

My work, together with that of close collaborators, has helped us to understand the empirical patterns of coupling between accretion (as observed in X-rays) and outflow in the form of both jets (observed in infrared, radio) and winds (X-ray spectroscopy).

Recent and key papers include:
"Stellar-Mass Black Holes and Ultraluminous X-ray Sources"
Fender & Belloni, 2012, Science 337, 540

"Ubiquitous equatorial accretion disc winds in black hole soft states"
Ponti, Fender et al., 2012, MNRAS, 422, L11

"No evidence for black hole spin powering of jets in X-ray binaries"
Fender, Gallo & Russell, 2010, MNRAS, 406, 1425

"Towards a unified model for black hole X-ray binary jets"
Fender, Belloni & Gallo, 2004, MNRAS, 355, 1105
Non research


I do not currently teach (thanks ERC), but am always on the lookout for good undergraduates to do vacation projects with me. If you're interested, please get in touch.
As part of my role as Deputy Head of Physics and Astronomy, I am the REF2014 coordinator ('champion') for Physics for Southampton.
In recent years I have been a member of a variety of national and international review committees, including the 2009 STFC Ground-Based Facilities Review (Chair Rowan-Robinson), and STFC's Far Universe Advisory Panel (FUAP). I have also been a member of the oversight commitees for both of STFC's SKA R&D projects,SKADS and PrepSKA.
I am currently a member of the ASTRONET European Radio Telescope Review Committee, and the European Virtual Observatory Science Advisory Committee