Department of Physics

Doctor John Eldridge

MA, MSci, PhD (Cambridge), FRAS, MInstP

Dr John J. Eldridge

Contact details
Building 303, Room 717
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 85911

Research areas

Astrophysics, Stellar Evolution of Single and Binary Stars, Supernovae, Gamma-ray Bursts, Stellar Population and Spectral Synthesis, High-redshift galaxies


I obtained my MA and MSci degrees from the University of Cambridge in 2001. I stayed at the University to study for my PhD in astrophysics at the Institute of Astronomy. After this I undertook postdoctoral research at the Institut d’Astrophysics de Paris, Queen’s University Belfast and the Institute of Astronomy. In 2011 I was appointed as a Lecturer of Astrophysics at the University of Auckland. In addition to my research activities I am also keen to participate in public understanding of science activities and have helped out at open days for previous departments. I have also given many public talks in Inverness, Chester, Antrim and Cambridge. My talks are on various subjects such as: "The Birth, Life and Death of Stars", "Stars in their death throes” and “Supernova Kicks and Runaway Stars". Recently I have given a few talks on the topic of assessing how accurate science-fiction can be with titles such as: "The Science of Sci-Fi: The Good the Bad and the Ugly" and "The Science of Sci-Fi: does every planet look just like home?"

Research interests

My research is mainly focussed upon the evolution of stars. I use the Cambridge STARS code to make numerical models of stars and then compare them to a broad range of observations. These include supernovae and their progenitors, long & short GRBs, resolved and unresolved stellar populations.

Recently I have created a unique Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis code (BPASS). While similar codes (such as starburst99) exist BPASS has important features, each of which set it apart from other codes and in combination make it the cutting edge. For more information see the website. A great amount of time and effort has been invested to create BPASS. The development is now complete and it is at the centre of much of my current and future research.

Recent publications

The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) web site, maintained by Harvard University has an up to date list of Doctor Eldridge's recent publications.