Associate Professor Jan Jamie Eldridge

MA, MSci, PhD (Cambridge), FRAS

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Head of Department


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, graduating in 2005. 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.

My research is focussed upon the lives and deaths of stars. Most of my work involves the suite of computer codes I have created, the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis code (BPASS, Using BPASS I study stars in our own Galaxy to stars in the galaxies at the edge of the observable Universe.

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 | Current

  • Astrophysics
  • Stellar Evolution of Single and Binary Stars
  • Supernovae
  • Gamma-ray Bursts
  • Stellar Population and Spectral Synthesis
  • High-redshift galaxies
  • Stellar origin gravitational wave transients

My research is mainly focussed upon the evolution of stars. 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.


Teaching | Current

Currently teaching:

  • Astro 100/100G: Planets, Stars and Galaxies
  • Physics 201: Classical and Thermal Physics
  • Physics 753: The Dynamic Universe


  • 2019: Faculty of Science Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching
  • 2017: Carnegie Observatories Distinguished visitor
  • 2016: One of Nature’s Outstanding referees of the year.
  • 2016, Physics Department Teacher of the Year.
  • 2012, Physics Department Teacher of the Year.

Areas of expertise

Astronomy and astrophysics: the evolution of single and binary stars, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, gravitational wave events, high redshift galaxies.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Member of the Astronomical Society of Australia.
  • Member of the New Zealand Institute of Physics.
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Eldridge, J. J., Stanway, E. R., & Tang, P. N. (2019). A consistent estimate for gravitational wave and electromagnetic transient rates. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 482 (1), 870-880. 10.1093/mnras/sty2714
  • Xiao, L., Galbany, L., Eldridge, J. J., & Stanway, E. R. (2019). Core-collapse supernovae ages and metallicities from emission-line diagnostics of nearby stellar populations. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 482 (1), 384-401. 10.1093/mnras/sty2557
  • Eldridge, J. J., Stanway, E. R., Xiao, L., McClelland, L. A. S., Taylor, G., Ng, M., ... Bray, J. C. (2017). Binary population and spectral synthesis version 2.1: Construction, observational verification, and new results. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 3410.1017/pasa.2017.51
  • Eldridge, J. J., & Stanway, E. R. (2016). BPASS predictions for binary black hole mergers. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 462 (3), 3302-3313. 10.1093/mnras/stw1772
  • Eldridge, J. J., Fraser, M., Smartt, S. J., Maund, J. R., & Mark Crockett, R. (2013). The death of massive stars - II. Observational constraints on the progenitors of type Ibc supernovae. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 436 (1), 774-795. 10.1093/mnras/stt1612
  • Walmswell, J. J., Eldridge, J. J., Brewer, B. J., & Tout, C. A. (2013). A transdimensional Bayesian method to infer the star formation history of resolved stellar populations. arXiv preprint arXiv:1308.0945
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Brendon Brewer
  • Eldridge, J. J. (2012). Stochasticity, a variable stellar upper mass limit, binaries and star formation rate indicators. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 422 (1), 794-803. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20662.x
  • Eldridge, J. J., & Stanway, E. R. (2012). The effect of stellar evolution uncertainties on the rest-frame ultraviolet stellar lines of Civ and Heii in high-redshift Lyman-break galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 419 (1), 479-489. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19713.x


Contact details

Alternative contact

Mobile: +64 (0)27 288 2544

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 303 - Bldg 303
Level 6, Room 601
New Zealand

Social links

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