Dr Stephen R. Taylor

I grew up in a small village called Glenavy in Northern Ireland, before reading Physics at Oxford University. After achieving my MPhys there, I was awarded a UK Science & Technology Facilities Council studentship to study for my PhD at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. During my graduate studies, I focused on new inference techniques for near-future gravitational-wave (GW) observations. In particular, I developed a technique to constrain cosmological parameters using only GWs, which will be a leap forward from other techniques requiring a combination of GW and electromagnetic data. More recently I have become interested in the GW astrophysics possibilities with pulsar-timing arrays. Dedicated high-precision timing of an ensemble of millisecond pulsars will allow measurement of transiting GWs, which cause a perturbation to the pulse arrival times. My work involves developing new techniques to map the properties of the nanoHertz GW sky, which may have a superposition of supermassive black-hole binary systems as its source, or something more exotic, like a decaying cosmic-string network.

In my free time I can be found reading spy or historical novels, lounging in a movie theatre, or hanging out with friends and family.

  • PhD, Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK (2014).
  • MPhys, Physics, University of Oxford, UK (2010).

Research Interests: 

Gravity, gravitational-waves, cosmology, neutron stars, statistical data-analysis

Professional Experience: 
  • NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA-JPL/Caltech (2014-present).

Selected Awards: 
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship (2014)
  • Royal Astronomical Society conference travel award (2014)
  • Royal Astronomical Society conference travel award (2013)
  • Christ’s College, Cambridge Graduate Travel Awards (2012 - 2013)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) PhD Studentship (2010)
  • Undergraduate Scholar of Jesus College, Oxford  (2007 - 2010)
  • Examiner's Prize, Oxford Physics Speaking Competition (2008)
  • Oxford Physics department prize for laboratory work (2007)
  • Various undergraduate departmental and college exam prizes (2006 - 2010)

Selected Publications: 
  1. J. R. Gair, J.D. Romano, S.R. Taylor, and C.M. F. Mingarelli, “Mapping gravitational-wave backgrounds using methods from CMB analysis: Application to pulsar timing arrays”, Phys. Rev. D 90, 082001 (2014), arXiv:1406.4664
  2. S. R. Taylor, and J. R. Gair, "Searching For Anisotropic Gravitational-wave Backgrounds Using Pulsar Timing Arrays", Phys. Rev. D 88, 084001 (2013), arXiv:1306.5395
  3. S. R. Taylor, J. R. Gair, and L. Lentati, "Weighing The Evidence For A Gravitational-Wave Background In The First International Pulsar Timing Array Data Challenge", Phys. Rev. D 87, 044035 (2013), arXiv:1210.6014
  4. S. R. Taylor, and J. R. Gair, "Cosmology With The Lights Off: Standard Sirens In The Einstein Telescope Era",  Phys. Rev. D 86, 023502 (2012), arXiv:1204.6739
  5. S. R. Taylor, J. R. Gair, and I. Mandel, "Cosmology Using Advanced Gravitational-Wave Detectors Alone", Phys. Rev. D85, 023535 (2012), arXiv:1108.5161
  6. L. Lentati, P. Alexander, M. P. Hobson, S. Taylor, J. Gair, S. T. Balan, R. van Haasteren, "Hyper-efficient model-independent Bayesian method for the analysis of pulsar timing data", Phys. Rev. D 87, 104021 (2013), arXiv:1210.3578
Dr Stephen R. Taylor
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Phone: 818.354.5111