Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group
University of Leicester
Radio and Space Plasma
Physics Group
Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group
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Prof M Lester

Professor of Solar-Terrestrial Physics


University of Sheffield 1973 - 1979
B.Sc. Combined Honours Pure Mathematics and Physics 2(i).
Ph.D. Thesis "VLF Goniometer Studies of the Magnetosphere and Earth/Ionosphere Waveguide"
University of York, October 1979 - July 1982, Research Assistant
Boston University, July 1982 - September 1983, Research Associate.
University of York, October 1983 - September 1985, Research Assistant.
Royal Aircraft Establishment, October 1985 - March 1987, Higher Scientific Officer October 1985 - January 1987, Senior Scientific Officer February 1987 - March 1987.
University of Leicester, April 1987 - Present, Lecturer, April 1987 - September 1995, Senior Lecturer, October 1995 - September 1998, Reader. October 1998 - March 2001, Professor of Solar Terrestrial Physics, March 2001 - present.

Research Interests:

My main research activities involve the study of the interaction of the solar wind with planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres. I am particularly interested in the transfer of mass, momentum and energy from the solar wind into the Earth's magnetosphere, ionosphere and, ultimately, the atmosphere. Specific interests include the interaction at the dayside between the interplanetary magnetic field and the geomagnetic field, magnetospheric substorms, and the coupling between the magnetosphere and ionosphere. I am the Principal Investigator for the high frequency (HF) CUTLASS radars, which forms part of the Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) of HF radars, and also currently the Chair of the SuperDARN Executive Council. I am also interested in radar systems and specifically space weather effects on the ionosphere as measured by these effects on HF propagation. I have a long-standing interest in bringing together a variety of space and ground-based data sets to solve problems in the Earth's magnetosphere-ionosphere system and have links to many space missions, such as Polar, Cluster, THEMIS, etc. In addition, I am the PI for the Wide Field Auroral Imager which is a possible instrument on the Chinese-led KuaFu mission. This instrument, which is a joint project between the Space instrumentation Group and the Radio and Space Plasma Physics group, will image the auroral activity from space and in particular will enable KuaFu to be the first mission to make simultaneous global measurements of the aurora in both hemispheres. Developments of this instrument may also be flown to the outer planets. I have recently started a research activity on the Martian space environment through use of a variety of data sets, but primarily magnetic field measurements. I continue to be a long-suffering Leicester City fan.

Contact Details:

Postal Address:

Radio and Space Plasma Physics Group
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Leicester
University Road

[+44] (0)116 252 3580
[+44] (0)116 252 3555


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