Sam Vaughan


I am a final-year PhD student at the University of Oxford, studying galaxy evolution and formation using a process called Integral Field Spectroscopy. I use large data sets and cutting-edge computing techniques to study the stars that galaxies are made of, how those stars are moving, and what this can tell us about the Universe we live in.


DPhil: University of Oxford, 2015- Present

Supervisor: Professor Roger Davies
The formation and evolution of elliptical and star-forming galaxies

MPhys Project: University of Oxford, 2014-2015

Supervisor: Professor Chis Lintott
Star-formation histories of SDSS galaxies with Galaxy Zoo

St. Andrews: Summer 2014

Supervisor: Dr. Kate Rowlands
An IRAM molecular line survey of NGC 5719

Supervision and Teaching


Summer Student: Chloe James-Turner, co-supervised with Roger Davies.
Galaxy Kinematics in the densest environments
July-August 2018


St Catherine's College, Oxford: Second year mathematical methods for Physicists.

Undergraduate Lab Demonstrator: Astrophysics computing lab.

UK Astronomy Olympiad Lecturer: Galaxies course



Python, Bash scripting, Linux/UNIX operating systems
High performance computing on parallelised hardware using MPI
Version control and collaborative software development using Git and Github
Experience with a python data analysis pipeline (numpy, scipy, matplotlib, probablistic programming tools) and basic machine learning workflow (Tensorflow, scikit-learn, Keras)

New College, University of Oxford

MPhys Physics: First Class honours
2012: College Exhibition awarded for exam performance (£300)
2013-2015: College Scholarship awarded for exam performance (£300 p.a.)

Southend High School for Boys

A Levels: A* in Further Maths, Physics, General Studies; A in Maths, Chemistry
GCSEs: 11 A*, 1 A

Peer Reviewed Publications
  • The stellar population and initial mass function of NGC 1399 with MUSE

    Vaughan, Sam P.; Davies, Roger L.; Zieleniewski, Simon; Houghton, Ryan C. W.
    2018: ADS
  • Radial measurements of IMF-sensitive absorption features in two massive ETGs

    Vaughan, Sam P.; Davies, Roger L.; Zieleniewski, Simon; Houghton, Ryan C. W.
    2018: ADS
  • SDSS-IV MaNGA: The Spatially Resolved Stellar Initial Mass Function in 400 Early-Type Galaxies

    Parikh, Taniya; Thomas, Daniel; Maraston, Claudia; Westfall, Kyle B.; Goddard, Daniel; Lian, Jianhui; Meneses-Goytia, Sofia; Jones, Amy; Vaughan, Sam; Andrews, Brett H.; Bershady, Matthew; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Brinkmann, Jonathan; Brownstein, Joel R.; Bundy, Kevin; Drory, Niv; Emsellem, Eric; Law, David R.; Newman, Jeffrey A.; Roman-Lopes, Alexandre Wake, David; Yan, Renbin; Zheng, Zheng
    2018: ADS
  • Radial gradients in initial mass function sensitive absorption features in the Coma brightest cluster galaxies

    Zieleniewski, Simon; Houghton, Ryan C. W.; Thatte, Niranjan; Davies, Roger L.; Vaughan, Sam P
    2017: ADS
  • Radio Galaxy Zoo: discovery of a poor cluster through a giant wide-angle tail radio galaxy

    Banfield, J. K.; Andernach, H.; Kapińska, A. D.; Rudnick, L.; Hardcastle, M. J.; Cotter, G.; Vaughan, S.; Jones, T. W.; Heywood, I.; Wing, J. D.; Wong, O. I.; Matorny, T.; Terentev, I. A.; López-Sánchez, Á. R.; Norris, R. P.; Seymour, N.; Shabala, S. S.; Willett, K. W.
    2016: ADS
Invited referee for the Astrophysical Journal
Selected Presentations and Talks
  • The Initial Mass Function of Early Type Galaxies

    Oxford Galaxy Evolution Seminar (1hr)
    June 2018
  • Radial IMF meausurements in NGC 1399

    Royal Astronomical Society specialist discussion meeting
    December 2017
  • The IMF and stellar populations of early-type galaxies

    "Thirty Minute Talk" series at ESO Vitacura, Santiago
    July 2017
  • MUSEings on the IMF in NGC1399

    National Astronomy Meeting, Hull
    July 2017
  • The Iron Hydride Molecule in Early Type Galaxies

    The Universal Problem of the Non-Universal IMF: Lorentz Centre, Leiden
    December 2016
  • The IMF in two nearby Massive Galaxies

    National Astronomy Meeting, Nottingham
    July 2016
Available on request