Dr Christopher P L Berry MA, MSci, PhD (Cantab)

Dr Christopher P L Berry

School of Physics and Astronomy
Postdoctoral research fellow

Contact details

School of Physics and Astronomy
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Christopher Berry is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working as part of the Gravitational Wave Group. He is a theoretical astrophysicist primarily interested in gravity: how gravitational interactions can teach us about astrophysical systems, and how astronomical measurements can teach us about gravity. His research is focussed upon how gravitational waves can improve our understanding of compact objects such as black holes that are difficult to observe by other means.

Christopher takes a keen interest in science education, whether in a formal setting teaching undergraduates or more informally communicating with the public at outreach events.

Tony’s research explores the interdependencies between spatial planning and the suitability of decentralised infrastructure for energy, travel, water and waste.  The aim is to forecast how technology scenarios could be combined with planning policies to improve the sustainability and resilience of cities. He has an in-depth understanding of buildings and infrastructure for energy, transport, water and waste in cities. He also has several years experience of developing and applying spatial interaction models to forecast the development of cities. His research aims to combine this socio economic understanding of cities with the physical modelling of the built environment and infrastructure.  Tony is currently working on the Liveable Cities project and has been carrying out research on urban metabolism and flows. He is leading on a short study that is investigating the opportunities and challenges of transforming connectivity and mobility for healthier, cleaner and more efficient cities.


  • PhD in Astronomy, University of Cambridge, 2013
  • BA (Hons), MSci Natural Sciences (Experimental & Theoretical Physics), University of Cambridge, 2009


Christopher Berry read Natural Sciences, specialising in Physics, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge as an undergraduate. He continued at Cambridge, to study for a PhD in Astronomy at the Institute of Astronomy. Under the supervision of Jonathan Gair, he developed a special interest in gravitational waves and their use as a means of learning about the Universe.

Christopher joined the University of Birmingham in October 2013 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He continues to investigate the scientific potential of gravitational-wave astronomy, now as a member of the international LIGO Scientific Collaboration. He is a veteran of the first observations of gravitational waves, and was heavilty involved in the analysis of GW150914, LVT151012, GW151226 and GW170104.

Christopher enjoys teaching and enthusing others about science. He taught a variety of Physics undergraduate courses, and participates in a range of outreach activities to engage the public, such as the Astronomy in the City events.


Christopher's current research concentrates on parameter estimation for gravitational-wave astronomy: how we can extract the information encoded in gravitational waves and use this to infer properties of their source systems as well as the astrophysically processes that formed them.

Gravitational-wave observations will teach us about neutron stars and black holes, the dense remnants of stellar evolution. By studying neutron stars we can potentially learn about the properties of matter at extreme (nuclear) densities. Black holes are the prefect laboratory to teach us about Einstein's theory of general relativity. Both neutron stars and black holes are the remains of dead stars. By understanding the properties of the population of neutron stars and black holes, we will improve our understanding of how stars evolve.


  • Abbott, B.P. et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration); GW170104: Observation of a 50-solar-mass binary black hole coalescence at dedshift 0.2i; PRL; 118(11):221101(17); 2017; arXiv:1706.01812 [gr-qc].
  • Berry, CPL, Cole, R.H., Cañizares, P. & Gair, J.R.; Importance of transient resonances in extreme-mass-ratio inspirals; PRD; 94(12):124042(24); 2016; arXiv:1608.08951 [gr-qc].
  • Abbott, B.P. et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration); Binary black hole mergers in the first Advanced LIGO observing run; PRX; 6(4):041015(36); 2016; arXiv:1606.04856 [gr-qc].
  • Ghosh, A., Ghosh, A., Johnson-McDaniel, N.K., Kant Mishra, C., Ajith, P., Del Pozzo, W., Nichols, D.A., Chen, Y., Nielsen, A.B., Berry, CPL & London, L.; Testing general relativity using golden black-hole binaries; PRD; 94(2):021101(6); 2016; arXiv:1602.02453 [gr-qc]. [Blog]
  • Farr, B., Berry, CPL, Farr, W.M., Haster, C.-J., Middleton, H., Cannon, K., Graff, P.B., Hanna, C., Mandel, I., Pankow, C., Price, L.R., Sidery, T., Singer, L.P., Urban, A.L., Vecchio, A., Veitch, J. & Vitale, S.; Parameter estimation on gravitational waves from neutron-star binaries with spinning components; ApJ; 825(2):116(10); 2016; arXiv:1508.05336 [astro-ph.HE].
  • Abbott, B.P. et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration); GW151226: Observation of gravitational waves from a 22-solar-mass binary black hole Ccoalescence; PRL; 116(24):241103(14); 2016; arXiv:1606.04855 [gr-qc].
  • Abbott, B.P. et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration); Properties of the binary black hole merger GW150914; PRL; 116(24):241102(19); 2016; arXiv:1602.03840 [gr-qc].
  • Moore, C. J., Chua, A. J. K., Berry, CPL & Gair, J. R.; Fast methods for training Gaussian processes on large data sets; RSOS; 3(5):160125(10); 2016; arXiv:1604.01250 [stat.ML].
  • Haster, C.-J., Wang, Z., Berry, CPL, Stevenson, S., Veitch, J. & Mandel, I.; Inference on gravitational waves from coalescences of stellar-mass compact objects and intermediate-mass black holes; MNRAS; 457(4):4499-4506; 2016; arXiv:1511.01431 [astro-ph.HE].
  • Moore, C.J., Berry, CPL, Chua, A.J.K. & Gair, J.R.; Improving gravitational-wave parameter estimation using Gaussian process regression; PRD; 93(6):064001(24); 2016; arXiv:1509.04066 [gr-qc].
  • Abbott, B.P. et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration); Observation of gravitational waves from a binary black hole merger; PRL; 116(6):061102(16); 2016; arXiv:1602.03837 [gr-qc].
  • Abbott, B.P. et al. (LIGO Scientific and Virgo Collaboration); Prospects for observing and localizing gravitational-wave transients with Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo; LRR; 19:1(39); 2016; arXiv:1304.0670 [gr-qc].
  • Berry, CPL, Mandel, I., Middleton, H., Singer, L.P., Urban, A.L., Vecchio, A., Vitale, S., Cannon, K., Farr, B., Farr, W.M., Graff, P.B., Hanna, C., Haster, C.-J., Mohapatra, S., Pankow, C., Price, L.R., Sidery, T. & Veitch, J.; Parameter estimation for binary neutron-star coalescences with realistic noise during the Advanced LIGO era; ApJ; 804(2):114(24); 2015; arXiv:1411.6934 [astro-ph.HE].
  • Moore, C.J., Cole, R.H. & CPLB; Gravitational-wave sensitivity curves; CQG; 32(1):015014(25); 2015; arXiv:1408.0740 [gr-qc].
  • Mandel, I.,Berry, CPL, Ohme, F., Fairhurst, S. & Farr, W.M.; Parameter estimation on compact binary coalescences with abruptly terminating gravitational waveforms; CQG; 31(15):155005(18); 2014; arXiv:1404.2382 [gr-qc].
  • Berry, CPL & Gair, J.R.; Expectations for extreme-mass-ratio bursts from the Galactic Centre; MNRAS; 435(4):3521-3540; 2013; arXiv:1307.7276 [astro-ph.HE].
  • Berry, CPL & Gair, J.R.; Extreme-mass-ratio-bursts from extragalactic sources; MNRAS; 433(4):3572-3583; 2013; arXiv:1306.0774 [astro-ph.HE].
  • Berry, CPL & Gair, J.R.; Observing the Galaxy’s massive black hole with gravitational wave bursts; MNRAS; 429(1):589-612; 2013; arXiv:1210.2778 [astro-ph.HE].
  • Berry, CPL & Gair, J.R.; Linearized f(R) gravity: Gravitational radiation and Solar System tests; PRD; 83(10):104022(19); 2011; arXiv:1104.0819 [gr-qc].
  • Berry, CPL & Gair, J.R.; Gravitational wave energy spectrum of a parabolic encounter; PRD; 82(10):107501(4); 2010; arXiv:1010.3865 [gr-qc].