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A picture of Dr Leah Morabito

We are delighted to announce Dr Leah Morabito from our ground-breaking Physics Department has been awarded the 2024 Fowler Award by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS).

This prestigious award recognises her pioneering research on ultra definition imaging with Low Frequency Array (LOFAR)  - a network of over 110,000 small antennae spread across nine European countries.

Making huge discoveries

This incredible technology has allowed images to be captured at FM radio frequencies which, unlike shorter wavelength sources like visible light, are not blocked by clouds of dust or gas, allowing astronomers to peer into star-forming regions and the hearts of galaxies themselves.

Dr Morabito has been praised for her work in chairing the LOFAR long-baseline working group, which has opened a new frontier for the study and understanding of how powerful jets launched by supermassive black holes impact the growth of galaxies.

Enhancing international scientific relations

Additionally, the awards panel were immensely impressed with the leading role Dr Morabito has played in the development of the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO), which will become the largest radio telescope on Earth once assembled and also the collaborative support network provided to developing countries such as South Africa and India.

After receiving her award, Dr Morabito said: 

“It is such an honour to receive this prestigious award from the RAS which plays such an integral part in the astronomy landscape.

“I am a strong believer in collaborative science and this award recognises me and the many incredible colleagues and students who have helped make great strides in harnessing new high-resolution imaging techniques to apply to galaxy evolution.

“We are at a moment where high resolution imaging at low radio frequencies is accessible, and I am really excited to continue my research to further understand how super-massive black holes impact galaxy evolution.”

Find out more:

  • Learn more about Dr Leah Morabito and our Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy.
  • Watch a video about LOFAR project.
  • Find out about the Science and Technology Facilities Council, LOFAR and LOFAR Surveys.
  • Our Department of Physics is a thriving centre for research and education. Ranked 2nd in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2024 and in the World Top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, we are proud to deliver a teaching and learning experience for students which closely aligns with the research-intensive values and practices of the University. 
  • Feeling inspired? Visit our Physics webpages to learn more about our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes. 

Durham University is a top 100 world university. In the QS World University Rankings 2024, we were ranked 78th globally.