|Born||1963 (age 56)|
|Doctoral advisor||John D. Barrow|
Peter Coles (born 1963) is a theoretical cosmologist at Cardiff University and Maynooth University. He was formerly the head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex.
He did his first degree at Magdalene College, Cambridge, in Natural Sciences, specialising in Theoretical Physics. In 1985 he started studying for his doctorate at the University of Sussex, supervised by John D. Barrow, and completed his DPhil thesis in 1988.
Coles advises LGBT scientists not to worry excessively that their sexual orientation will retard their careers. He enjoys a wide range of music, especially classical and jazz and he listens to Radio 3, but he does not like the sound produced by harpsichords.
During 1988 and 1990 he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sussex, before moving to the mathematics department of the Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London, where he worked from 1990 until 1999, first as a temporary lecturer, then as a PPARC Advanced Fellow from 1993 to 1998, becoming Lecturer-in-waiting in 1994 and Reader-in-waiting in 1997. He then worked at the University of Nottingham between 1999 and 2007 as a Professor of Astrophysics, where he set up a new group in astronomy.
In February 2013 he became the Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Sussex. He left the University of Sussex in 2016 to return to Cardiff to hold a joint position with the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Data Innovation Research Institute. On 1 December 2017 he started working part-time at both Maynooth University and Cardiff.
His primary research interest is in cosmology and the large-scale structure of the Universe, specifically on theoretical models that try to account for the properties of the observable universe, including the cosmic microwave background and galaxy clusters. He also researches cosmological models that feature magnetic fields, Non-Gaussianity and asymmetries, as well as the application of probability and statistics in astronomy and physics.
He has taught undergraduate courses in mathematics, statistics, and astronomy. Along with Francesco Lucchin he wrote a textbook on "Cosmology: the origin and evolution of cosmic structure" (ISBN 978-0-471-48909-2), and a second edition of it was published by John Wiley & Sons in July 2002.
He has a blog named In the Dark, where he writes under the name Telescoper, covering a range of topics including astronomy, science funding, opera, jazz, rugby and crosswords. In 1999 it was one of "Five great physics blogs" listed by the Daily Telegraph.