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Personal profile


I am a teaching fellow in physics, based in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. 

Research Interests

My research primarily examines how the smallest galaxies in the Universe, known as dwarf galaxies, evolve in the nearby Universe. I carry out this research primarily through spectroscopy. In particular, I am interested in how and why such galaxies stop forming new stars, and my research suggests that supermassive black holes may play a role in this. I am also interested in the evolution of extremely isolated galaxies, as these galaxies are important tests of the processes internal to galaxies that shape their colours, morphologies, and star formation activity. 

Teaching Responsibilities

I am coordinator for the first year Physics unit U20274 "Introduction to Mathematical Physics 2". I also assist with the delivery of the units U20273 "Introduction to Mathematical Physics 1", U24568 "Introduction to Computational Physics", U20509 "Universe: Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies" and U24582 "Observational Astronomy and Cosmology". 


In addition to teaching these units, I supervise final year projects for third and fourth year undergraduates, and I am a tutor at Maths Cafe. 


I obtained an MPhys in Physics with Astronomy from Cardiff University, followed by my PhD in Physics from the University of Nottingham in 2010. After this, I took up a six month Australia Awards Postdoctoral Fellowship at Swinburne Univerity in March 2011, followed by an ARC Super Science Fellowship at Monash University between September 2011 and September 2014. 


I then moved to the University of Portsmouth in September 2014 as a Senior Research Associate, before taking up my current role as a Teaching Fellow in Physics in September 2018. 

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., University of Nottingham

Award Date: 9 Dec 2010

External positions

ARC Super Science Fellow, Monash Centre for Astrophysics

Sep 2011Sep 2014

Australia Awards Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology

Mar 2011Sep 2011


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  • Merger histories and environments of dwarf AGN in IllustrisTNG

    Kristensen, M. T., Pimbblet, K. A., Gibson, B., Penny, S. & Koudmani, S., 30 Aug 2021, (Accepted for publication) In: The Astrophysical Journal.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Environments of dwarf galaxies with optical AGN characteristics

    Kristensen, M. T., Pimbblet, K. & Penny, S., Aug 2020, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 496, 3, p. 2577–2590

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • The 16th data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys: first release from the APOGEE-2 Southern Survey and full release of eBOSS Spectra

    SDSS-IV Collaboration, Avila, S., Bautista, J., Beutler, F., Gonzalez-Perez, V., Lian, J., Maraston, C., Masters, K. L., Mueller, E-M., Nadathur, S., Penny, S., Percival, W. J., Pieri, M. M., Ross, A. J., Tojeiro, R. & Wang, Y., 25 Jun 2020, In: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 249, 1, 21 p., 3.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    30 Downloads (Pure)
  • Black hole scaling relations of active and quiescent galaxies: addressing selection effects and constraining virial factors

    Shankar, F., Bernardi, M., Richardson, K., Marsden, C., Sheth, R. K., Allevato, V., Graziani, L., Mezcua, M., Ricci, F., Penny, S. J., Franca, F. L. & Pacucci, F., 1 May 2019, In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 485, 1, p. 1278-1292 15 p., stz376.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    50 Downloads (Pure)
  • The fifteenth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys: first release of MaNGA-derived quantities, data visualization tools, and Stellar Library

    Aguado, D. S., Ahumada, R., Almeida, A., Anderson, S. F., Andrews, B. H., Anguiano, B., Ortiz, E. A., Aragón-Salamanca, A., Argudo-Fernández, M., Aubert, M., Avila-Reese, V., Badenes, C., Barboza Rembold, S., Barger, K., Barrera-Ballesteros, J., Bates, D., Bautista, J., Beaton, R. L., Beers, T. C., Belfiore, F. & 213 others, Bernardi, M., Bershady, M., Beutler, F., Bird, J., Bizyaev, D., Blanc, G. A., Blanton, M. R., Blomqvist, M., Bolton, A. S., Boquien, M., Borissova, J., Bovy, J., Nielsen Brandt, W., Brinkmann, J., Brownstein, J. R., Bundy, K., Burgasser, A., Byler, N., Cano Diaz, M., Cappellari, M., Carrera, R., Cervantes Sodi, B., Chen, Y., Cherinka, B., Doohyun Choi, P., Chung, H., Coffey, D., Comerford, J. M., Comparat, J., Covey, K., Da Silva Ilha, G., Da Costa, L., Sophia Dai, Y., Damke, G., Darling, J., Davies, R., Dawson, K., De Sainte Agathe, V., Deconto Machado, A., Del Moro, A., De Lee, N., Diamond-Stanic, A. M., Dominguez Sánchez, H., Donor, J., Drory, N., Du Mas Des Bourboux, H., Duckworth, C., Dwelly, T., Ebelke, G., Emsellem, E., Escoffier, S., Fernández-Trincado, J. G., Feuillet, D., Fischer, J. L., Fleming, S. W., Fraser-Mckelvie, A., Freischlad, G., Frinchaboy, P. M., Fu, H., Galbany, L., Garcia-Dias, R., Garcia-Hernández, D. A., Alberto Garma Oehmichen, L., Antonio Geimba Maia, M., Gil-Marin, H., Grabowski, K., Gu, M., Guo, H., Ha, J., Harrington, E., Hasselquist, S., Hayes, C. R., Hearty, F., Hernandez Toledo, H., Hicks, H., Hogg, D. W., Holley-Bockelmann, K., Holtzman, J. A., Hsieh, B. C., Hunt, J. A. S., Seong Hwang, H., Ibarra-Medel, H. J., Eduardo Jimenez Angel, C., Johnson, J., Jones, A., Jönsson, H., Kinemuchi, K., Kollmeier, J., Krawczyk, C., Kreckel, K., Kruk, S., Lacerna, I., Lan, T. W., Lane, R. R., Law, D. R., Lee, Y. B., Li, C., Lian, J., Lin, L., Lin, Y. T., Lintott, C., Long, D., Longa-Pena, P., Ted Mackereth, J., De La Macorra, A., Majewski, S. R., Malanushenko, O., Manchado, A., Maraston, C., Mariappan, V., Marinelli, M., Marques-Chaves, R., Masseron, T., Masters, K. L., McDermid, R. M., Medina Pena, N., Meneses-Goytia, S., Merloni, A., Merrifield, M., Meszaros, S., Minniti, D., Minsley, R., Muna, D., Myers, A. D., Nair, P., Correa Do Nascimento, J., Newman, J. A., Nitschelm, C., Olmstead, M. D., Oravetz, A., Oravetz, D., Ortega Minakata, R. A., Pace, Z., Padilla, N., Palicio, P. A., Pan, K., Pan, H. A., Parikh, T., Parker, J., Peirani, S., Penny, S., Percival, W. J., Perez-Fournon, I., Peterken, T., Pinsonneault, M. H., Prakash, A., Raddick, M. J., Raichoor, A., Riffel, R. A., Riffel, R., Rix, H. W., Robin, A. C., Roman-Lopes, A., Rose, B., Ross, A. J., Rossi, G., Rowlands, K., Rubin, K. H. R., Sánchez, S. F., Sánchez-Gallego, J. R., Sayres, C., Schaefer, A., Schiavon, R. P., Schimoia, J. S., Schlafly, E., Schlegel, D., Schneider, D. P., Schultheis, M., Seo, H. J., Shamsi, S. J., Shao, Z., Shen, S., Shetty, S., Simonian, G., Smethurst, R. J., Sobeck, J., Souter, B. J., Spindler, A., Stark, D. V., Stassun, K. G., Steinmetz, M., Storchi-Bergmann, T., Stringfellow, G. S., Suárez, G., Sun, J., Taghizadeh-Popp, M., Talbot, M. S., Tayar, J., Thakar, A. R., Thomas, D., Tissera, P., Tojeiro, R., Troup, N. W., Unda-Sanzana, E., Valenzuela, O., Vargas-Magana, M., Antonio Vázquez-Mata, J., Wake, D., Alan Weaver, B., Weijmans, A. M., Westfall, K. B., Wild, V., Wilson, J., Woods, E., Yan, R., Yang, M., Zamora, O., Zasowski, G., Zhang, K., Zheng, Z., Zhu, G., Zinn, J. C. & Zou, H., 28 Jan 2019, In: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series. 240, 2, 23.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    165 Downloads (Pure)