School of Physical Sciences


Dr. Lowry is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Kent's Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science. He specializes in optical and infrared observations and modeling of Solar System Small Bodies, making use of both space-based and large ground-based telescope facilities.  

He completed his PhD in 2001 at Queen's University Belfast in the area of cometary science, and from there he was a research fellow for several years in the UK and US. Before moving to his current position at the University of Kent, he was a Research Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on physical and compositional characterizations of cometary and asteroidal bodies, and supported numerous spacecraft missions to these bodies and the development of a new comet surface sample return mission. His publications include four research papers in Science and one in the Nature, and was lead author in a chapter in the recent 'The Solar System Beyond Neptune' book.  

Dr. Lowry is a member of the science team for the OSIRIS optical camera instrument on board ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and is Principal Investigator on a new Large Programme at the European Southern Observatory to study near-Earth asteroids.

Contact Information


Room 111, Ingram Building

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Pajola, M. et al. (2017). The pristine interior of comet 67P revealed by the combined Aswan outburst and cliff collapse. Nature Astronomy [Online] 1:92. Available at:
Snodgrass, C. et al. (2016). Distant activity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: Ground-based results during the Rosetta pre-landing phase. Astronomy & Astrophysics [Online] 588:A80. Available at:
Vincent, J. et al. (2016). Are fractured cliffs the source of cometary dust jets? Insights from OSIRIS/Rosetta at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy & Astrophysics [Online] 587:A14. Available at:
Deller, J. et al. (2016). A new approach to modelling impacts on rubble pile asteroid simulants. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society [Online] 455:3752-3762. Available at:
Ip, W. et al. (2016). Physical properties and dynamical relation of the circular depressions on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy & Astrophysics [Online] 591:A132. Available at:
Showing 5 of 75 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]


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  • PH709: Space Astronomy and Solar System Science - Topics include: Solar System Evolution, Exploration of the Solar System by Spacecraft, Space Astronomy, Astrobiology. This is a Year-4 lecture-based course, shared with Prof. M. Smith. Dr Lowry is Module Convenor.
  • PH711: Rocketry and Human Spaceflight - Topics include: Space Systems Design and Flight Operations. This is a lecture-based course, shared with Dr. Mark Price. Dr Lowry is Module Convenor.
  • PH508: Spacecraft Design and Operations - Topics include: Spacecraft Systems Design and Orbit Dynamics, Project Management. This is a Stage-2 lecture-based course. Dr Lowry is Module Convenor.
  • PH512: Multimedia is Astronomy, Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences - This is a Year-2 laboratory-based module offered in the Spring term. Topics include: Virtual Observatories, Online Data Repositories, Astronomy Image-Analysis Techniques. Dr Lowry is Module Convenor.
  • PH700: Physics Research Project - Dr. Lowry offers multiple projects for this Stage-4 advanced research project module. Projects include analysis and modeling of observational data of Near-Earth Asteroids and other small solar systems bodies.
  • PH600: Physics Project - Dr. Lowry supervises multiple research projects for this Year-3 project module. Projects are astronomy based.
  • PH301: Physics Multiple workshops held in Spring term in support of this lecture based module.
  • PH307: Disasters - Dr Lowry coordinates that part of the course related to 'Asteroid Impacts'.
  • Numerous MSc and PhD projects are also offered.
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School of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NH

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Last Updated: 14/03/2017