About Me

I am a researcher studying Dark Matter, worrying about how it can be detected and what we can learn about it. My full CV is available here, but below you will find a brief summary of my academic history and my research interests (aimed at experts).

Academic history

Since January 2024, I have been a Científico Titular (Tenured Scientist) of the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC) at the Instituto de Física de Cantabria (IFCA), in Santander in Northern Spain. I have been working at IFCA since March 2020, with the goal of encouraging collaboration between the observational cosmology and high-energy physics groups, on the topic of Dark Matter.

From September 2017 to February 2020, I was a post-doc at GRAPPA (an institute of the University of Amsterdam) with Dr. Gianfranco Bertone.

Before that, from October 2014 onwards, I held a NewDARK post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Marco Cirelli, working first at the IPhT in Saclay, France and then moving with the NewDARK group to the LPTHE in central Paris.

I completed my PhD in September 2014 at the University of Nottingham, supervised by Dr. Anne Green. My thesis was entitled “Confronting astrophysical uncertainties in the direct detection of dark matter”. It was awarded the 2016 IOP Astroparticle physics thesis prize and is available from the Nottingham eTheses Repository.

I studied as an undergraduate at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, where I earned a BA in Natural Sciences and an MSci in Theoretical Physics. For my Master’s project, I ran Helium Atom Scattering simulations on graphics cards (and nearly messed up a few of the cards in the process).

Research interests

I work on Dark Matter (DM) phenomenology, aiming to understand how we can search for DM, what it might look like in experimental data and what we might learn from its discovery.

During my early career in specialised in in so-called ‘Direct Detection’ experiments, which search for the low energy interactions of Galactic DM with nuclei. During my PhD, I showed that we should be able to reconstruct the DM particle mass and interaction cross section without having to worry about the unknown velocity distribution of Galactic DM. As a bonus, we can actually measure the velocity distribution itself and learn something about the DM halo in the process. I have also studied signatures of strongly-interacting DM, and alongside the EDELWEISS collaboration I produced world-leading constraints on light, strongly-interacting DM.

More recently, I have turned my focus also to signatures of DM in Gravitational Wave observations. This includes constraints on Primordial Black Holes (PBHs), which may produced in the early Universe and may contribute to the DM we observe today. I am also studying the subtle effects of particle DM around black hole binaries, which might influence the gravitational wave signals they produce. These systems require careful, detailed modelling, but hold great promise for detecting a wide range of particle DM candidates.

I am currently a member of a number of experimental working groups, including: