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Kavli Institute for Cosmology, Cambridge

Inflationary Cosmology
Global 21cm Cosmology
Bayesian Machine Learning


2020-present: Royal Society University Research Fellow (University of Cambridge)

2016-2020: Junior Research Fellow  (Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge)

2016 July-Sep: Postdoctoral researcher  (UCL)

2012-2016: PhD in Physics (University of Cambridge)

2008-2012: MA, MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics (University of Cambridge)



Will Handley is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Turing Fellow whose research centres around early universe cosmology and Bayesian machine learning.

Since his PhD he has maintained an interest in the initial conditions for inflation, examining the effect that high energy physics has on the universe a split second after the Big Bang. His current research is focused on examining the theoretical and observational consequences of primordial curvature, searching for imprints in the cosmic microwave background of the shape of the universe at the beginning of time.

In addition to theoretical investigation, he also examines the observational consequences of these new ideas; testing theories against the latest data from microwave telescopes and large scale structure surveys using the University supercomputers.

He works on developing novel Bayesian machine learning algorithms for high-dimensional parameter estimation, model comparison and tension quantification using nested sampling. Possible applications currently under investigation include protein folding, sparse reconstruction for facial recognition and Bayesian neural network training.

He leads the data analysis team for REACH, a team of cosmologists designing and operating a radio telescope to make an unambiguous detection of the global 21cm signal coming from the cosmic dawn.

He is a convener of the GAMBIT cosmology working group, working with a community of cosmologists, particle physicists and statisticians who use terrestrial collider data in conjunction with astrophysical observations to constrain theories of dark matter, neutrinos and modified gravity.


Key publications: 
Other publications: 

Teaching and Supervisions

  • Lectures: Part III Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • Supervisions: Part III Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology (2020-)
  • Supervisions: Part IA Mathematics for Natural Sciences (2012-2017)
  • Supervisions: Part IA Physics for Natural Sciences (Michaelmas 2015 - Easter 2016)
  • Supervisions: Part II General Relativity (2013-2018, 2021-)
  • Demonstrating: Part II Theoretical Physics 1 (Michaelmas 2012)
  • Demonstrating: Part II Theoretical Physics 2 (Lent 2013)
  • Tripos Examples Classes: Part IA Mathematics for Natural Sciences (Easter 2014 -Present)

Part III Projects


Research supervision: 

Postdoctoral researchers: Kamran Javid (2018-9)

PhD Students (co-supervised): 

Thomas Gessey Jones, George Carter (2020-present)

Ian Roque, Harry Bevins (2019-present)

Dominic Anstey (2018-present)

Lukas HergtFruzsina AgocsWill Barker (2017-present)

Masters Students: 

Thomas Gessey-Jones, Aleksandr Petrosyan, Ayngaran Thavanesan, Emma Shen (2019-present) 

Deaglan Bartlett, Jamie Bamber, Ian Roque (2018), 

Ward Haddadin, Jessica Rigley, Panagiotis Mavrogiannis (2017), 

Fruzsina Agocs, Robert Knighton, Stephen Pickman, Daniel Manela (2016)

Summer Students: 

Denis Werth, Maxime Jabarian, Liam Lau (2019), 

Elizabeth Guest, Ward Haddadin, Shu-Fan Chen (2018)


Royal Society University Research Fellow
Turing Fellow
Gonville & Caius College Fellow
Dr Will  Handley

Contact Details

Email address: 
(01223) 337549
Takes PhD students


Person keywords: 
Bayesian Statistics
Machine Learning
Numerical methods