Professor Richard Easther

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Head of Department


I grew up in New Zealand, and was educated at the University of Canterbury. After graduating with my PhD 1994 I held post-doctoral fellowships at Waseda University in Japan and at  Brown and Columbia Universities in the United States.

I was a professor at Yale University from 2004 until the end of 2011, when I returned to New Zealand. I am now a professor and Head of the Department of Physics here at the University of Auckland.


Research | Current

My work focuses on the physics of the very early universe. I explore the cosmological implications of string theory and the inflationary epoch, a period of accelerated expansion immediately after the big bang  thought to set the stage for the subsequent evolution of the universe.

I am interested in the evolution of the universe during the "primordial dark ages" between the end of inflation and the nucleosynthesis era, a period a few minutes after the big bang when chemical elements more complicated than hydrogen are first formed.

The growth of cosmological perturbations during this phase depends on the nature of dark matter and other phenomena outside the "standard model" of particle physics, allowing cosmology to reveal unknown particle physics.

Research areas

  • The physics of the very early universe
  • Inflationary cosmology
  • The cosmological implications of string theory
  • The multiverse and eternal inflation
  • Astrophysical tests of models of the early universe
  • Dark matter and cosmological observables


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 601
New Zealand

Web links