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Ankur Upadhyaya

I am currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick, UK, where I am actively involved in the extra-galactic and modeling team under the guidance of Dr. Elizabeth StanwayLink opens in a new window. My primary focus is on comparing the spectra of high redshift galaxies (z~5-7), gathered using the Near Infra Red Spectrograph (NIRSpec) instrument of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), with those derived from state-of-the-art Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis (BPASS) models. This project involves a comprehensive analysis where I assess the agreement between observations and models, aiming to identify areas for improvement in the existing models. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance our understanding of the early universe by developing models that better predict observations and characterize the physical conditions of Cosmic Dawn.

Before my current role, I completed my Master's thesis at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where I worked with Prof. Daniel Schaerer and Dr. Rui Marques-Chaves. The focus of my research was the detection of Very Massive Stars (VMS) within Extreme UV-bright star-forming galaxies situated at redshifts (z) between 2 to 4. Utilizing the VMS models developed by Dr. Fabrice Martins and Dr. Ana Palacios from the University of Montpellier, France, I successfully identified the presence of VMS in these galaxies. This work led to additional projects investigating the existence of VMS in the Sunburst Cluster (z=2.37) and in the local universe. I collaborated with Dr. Eros Vanzella's team at INAF Bologna, Italy, to detect VMS in the Sunburst Cluster and collaborated with Dr. Fabrice Martins to extend the study to the local universe, resulting in multiple publications.

For further details on my academic contributions and a complete list of my publications, you can refer to NASA ADS via this linkLink opens in a new window. Additionally, my full CV is available upon request via this linkLink opens in a new window. Feel free to reach out if you have any inquiries or wish to learn more about my research works.


First Author:

Observing Proposals:

Hubble Space Telescope (HST):
Very Large Telescope (VLT):
  • Co-PI in Cycle P113: Successful allocation of 5 hours of FORS2 Observation: Confirmation of Very Massive Stars and an unusual IMF in a UV bright starburst at z ∼ 2 - Rui Marques-Chaves, Daniel Schaerer, Fabrice Martins, Ankur Upadhyaya.
  • Co-PI in Cycle P111: Successful allocation of 16 hours of FORS2 Observation: Observations of the ionizing spectra in the Lyman continuum of distant starbursts - Rui Marques-Chaves, Daniel Schaerer,.., Ankur Upadhyaya.

  • Co-PI in Cycle P110: Successful allocation of 18 hours of Xshooter Observation: Xshooter Survey of Extremely UV and Lyα Luminous Star-forming Galaxies at z=2.0-3.6 - Rui Marques-Chaves, Daniel Schaerer,.., Ankur Upadhyaya.

Honors & Awards:

Coming from a poor background, I am deeply passionate about addressing issues related to the upliftment of impoverished people. The challenges of my upbringing have instilled in me a profound belief that poverty is a primary source of human suffering. One of my life goals is to combat human misery, starting with the eradication of poverty. I am convinced that the immediate threat to human civilization is not an external force like an asteroid strike but rather certain negative human impulses that have the potential to bring about our downfall. I believe that unless we collectively suppress these detrimental impulses and nurture positive ones, humanity may face a precarious future. In my view, individual actions of kindness play a crucial role in fostering positive impulses and can be practiced in everyday life. Such actions include extending help, providing motivation, offering encouragement, and simply being kind to others. Unfortunately, poverty poses a significant challenge to amplifying these positive qualities, often bringing out the worst in humanity.

As part of one of the first generations with widespread access to the Internet, I have personally experienced the transformative power of decentralized information. This accessibility has enabled me to climb from the bottom of the societal hierarchy to study science and engage in scientific research at top institutions worldwide. If you are interested in learning more about me or my research work, please feel free to reach out. I am eager to share my experiences and discuss how we can collectively contribute to making a positive impact on the world.


Write to:

Ankur Upadhyaya (he/him),
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact details:

E-Mail: Ankur.Upadhyaya [at]