Simon Lilly

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Simon Lilly
Professor Simon Lilly FRS.jpg
Simon Lilly at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2014
BornSimon John Lilly
Alma mater
Known forScientific misconduct
Spouse(s)Marcella Carollo[3]
AwardsHerschel Medal (2017)
Scientific career
ThesisEvolution of radio galaxies (1983)
Doctoral advisorMalcolm Longair[4]

Simon John Lilly FRS[5] is a Professor in the Department of Physics at ETH Zürich.[6][7]


Lilly was educated at the University of Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Sciences (Physics and Theoretical Physics) in 1980.[7] He went on to study at the University of Edinburgh where he was awarded a PhD in 1983 for research on the evolution of radio galaxies supervised by Malcolm Longair.[4][8]

Career and research[edit]

Following his PhD, Lilly was a SERC/NATO postdoctoral research Fellow at Princeton University from 1984 to 1985. He was appointed Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii from 1985 to 1990, then Full Professor at the University of Toronto from 1990 to 2000. He served as Director General of the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics from 2000 to 2002 before being appointed Professor at ETH Zurich in 2002. He served as Head of the Department of Physics at ETH from 2015 to 2017.[7] Lilly's research investigates galaxy formation and evolution.[9][10][11][12][13][14] With the zCOSMOS project,[15] Lilly has sought to identify the physical processes that shape the properties of galaxies over cosmic time in different space environments.[16] He is also working to find new ways of detecting the intergalactic medium — the gaseous material that galaxies form from and later exchange material with.[1][2][16][17]


In August 2017, ETH Zurich dissolved its institute for astronomy. According to news reports in NZZ am Sonntag[18] and Science[3] while Lilly and his wife Marcella Carollo are on sabbatical leave, the ETH is conducting formal inquiries into allegations of misconduct by Carollo and inaction by Lilly.

Awards and honours[edit]

Lilly was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2014, with the citation noting that his early work "provided the first convincing measurement of the star formation history of the Universe."[16]

He was awarded the 2017 Herschel Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society, in recognition of his work on the Canada-France Redshift Survey, which "provided the first measurement of the luminosity density of normal galaxies over cosmological timescales [and] motivated the follow-up census at higher redshifts with the first Hubble Deep Field."[19]


  1. ^ a b Lilly, S. J.; Tresse, L.; Hammer, F.; Crampton, D.; Le Fevre, O. (1995). "The Canada-France Redshift Survey. VI. Evolution of the Galaxy Luminosity Function to Z approximately 1". The Astrophysical Journal. 455: 108. arXiv:astro-ph/9507079. Bibcode:1995ApJ...455..108L. doi:10.1086/176560.
  2. ^ a b Scoville, N.; Aussel, H.; Brusa, M.; Capak, P.; Carollo, C. M.; Elvis, M.; Giavalisco, M.; Guzzo, L.; Hasinger, G.; Impey, C.; Kneib, J. ‐P.; Lefevre, O.; Lilly, S. J.; Mobasher, B.; Renzini, A.; Rich, R. M.; Sanders, D. B.; Schinnerer, E.; Schminovich, D.; Shopbell, P.; Taniguchi, Y.; Tyson, N. D. (2007). "The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS): Overview". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 172: 1. arXiv:astro-ph/0612305. Bibcode:2007ApJS..172....1S. doi:10.1086/516585.
  3. ^ a b Vogel, Gretchen (2017). "Swiss university dissolves astronomy institute after misconduct allegations". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aar3257. ISSN 0036-8075.
  4. ^ a b Simon Lilly at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ LILLY, Prof. Simon John. Who's Who. 2017 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. closed access publication – behind paywall (subscription required)
  6. ^ Simon Lilly's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b c Lilly, Simon (2016). "Lilly, Simon, Prof. Dr". ETH Zurich. Retrieved 2017-10-26.
  8. ^ Lilly, Simon (1983). Evolution of radio galaxies. (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh.
  9. ^ Ilbert, O.; Capak, P.; Salvato, M.; Aussel, H.; McCracken, H. J.; Sanders, D. B.; Scoville, N.; Kartaltepe, J.; Arnouts, S.; Floc'h, E. L.; Mobasher, B.; Taniguchi, Y.; Lamareille, F.; Leauthaud, A.; Sasaki, S.; Thompson, D.; Zamojski, M.; Zamorani, G.; Bardelli, S.; Bolzonella, M.; Bongiorno, A.; Brusa, M.; Caputi, K. I.; Carollo, C. M.; Contini, T.; Cook, R.; Coppa, G.; Cucciati, O.; de la Torre, S.; et al. (2009). "Cosmos photometric redshifts with 30-bands for 2-deg2". The Astrophysical Journal. 690 (2): 1236. arXiv:0809.2101. Bibcode:2009ApJ...690.1236I. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/690/2/1236.
  10. ^ Eales, S.; Lilly, S.; Gear, W.; Dunne, L.; Bond, J. R.; Hammer, F.; Le Fevre, O.; Crampton, D. (1999). "The Canada‐UK Deep Submillimeter Survey: First Submillimeter Images, the Source Counts, and Resolution of the Background". The Astrophysical Journal. 515 (2): 518. arXiv:astro-ph/9808040. Bibcode:1999ApJ...515..518E. doi:10.1086/307069.
  11. ^ Gardner, J. P.; Mather, J. C.; Clampin, M.; Doyon, R.; Greenhouse, M. A.; Hammel, H. B.; Hutchings, J. B.; Jakobsen, P.; Lilly, S. J.; Long, K. S.; Lunine, J. I.; McCaughrean, M. J.; Mountain, M.; Nella, J.; Rieke, G. H.; Rieke, M. J.; Rix, H. W.; Smith, E. P.; Sonneborn, G.; Stiavelli, M.; Stockman, H. S.; Windhorst, R. A.; Wright, G. S. (2006). "The James Webb Space Telescope". Space Science Reviews. 123 (4): 485. arXiv:astro-ph/0606175. Bibcode:2006SSRv..123..485G. doi:10.1007/s11214-006-8315-7.
  12. ^ Lilly, S. J. (1991). "Cosmology with Galaxies at High Redshifts". Observational Tests of Cosmological Inflation. p. 233. doi:10.1007/978-94-011-3510-8_23. ISBN 978-94-010-5552-9.
  13. ^ Hill, G. J.; Lilly, S. J. (1991). "A change in the cluster environments of radio galaxies with cosmic epoch". The Astrophysical Journal. 367: 1. Bibcode:1991ApJ...367....1H. doi:10.1086/169597.
  14. ^ Lilly, S.; Schade, D.; Ellis, R.; Le Fevre, O.; Brinchmann, J.; Tresse, L.; Abraham, R.; Hammer, F.; Crampton, D.; Colless, M.; Glazebrook, K.; Mallen‐Ornelas, G.; Broadhurst, T. (1998). "Hubble Space Telescope Imaging of the CFRS and LDSS Redshift Surveys. II. Structural Parameters and the Evolution of Disk Galaxies toz∼ 1". The Astrophysical Journal. 500: 75. arXiv:astro-ph/9712061. Bibcode:1998ApJ...500...75L. doi:10.1086/305713.
  15. ^ Lilly, S. J.; Fevre, O. L.; Renzini, A.; Zamorani, G.; Scodeggio, M.; Contini, T.; Carollo, C. M.; Hasinger, G.; Kneib, J. ‐P.; Iovino, A.; Le Brun, V.; Maier, C.; Mainieri, V.; Mignoli, M.; Silverman, J.; Tasca, L. A. M.; Bolzonella, M.; Bongiorno, A.; Bottini, D.; Capak, P.; Caputi, K.; Cimatti, A.; Cucciati, O.; Daddi, E.; Feldmann, R.; Franzetti, P.; Garilli, B.; Guzzo, L.; Ilbert, O.; Kampczyk, P.; et al. (2007). "ZCOSMOS: A Large VLT/VIMOS Redshift Survey Covering 0 <z< 3 in the COSMOS Field". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 172: 70. arXiv:astro-ph/0612291. Bibcode:2007ApJS..172...70L. doi:10.1086/516589.
  16. ^ a b c Anon (2014). "Professor Simon Lilly FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2017-10-26. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.

  17. ^ Peng, Ying-jie; Lilly, Simon J.; Renzini, Alvio; Carollo, Marcella (2014). "Mass and environment as drivers of galaxy evolution in SDSS and zCOSMOS and the origin of the Schechter function". The Astrophysical Journal. 790 (2): 95. arXiv:1003.4747. Bibcode:2014ApJ...790...95P. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/790/2/95. ISSN 0004-637X.
  18. ^ Donzé, René. "Eklat an der ETH: Professorin mobbt Studenten | NZZ am Sonntag". NZZ am Sonntag (in German). Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  19. ^ Anon (2017). "Citation for the 2017 RAS Herschel Medal Professor Simon Lilly" (PDF). London: Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 2017-10-26.

 This article incorporates text available under the CC BY 4.0 license.