Maggie Lieu

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Maggie Lieu
🎓 Alma materUniversity of Birmingham University of Kent
💼 Occupation

Maggie Lieu (born 1990) is a British astrophysicist and science communicator. She is a research fellow at the European Space Agency, where she studies dark matter and dark energy.


Lieu is from Tile Hill, Coventry.[1] Lieu graduated from the University of Kent with a Masters degree in physics in 2012.[2] Her Masters thesis explored "The effects of FUV radiation on clumpy molecular clouds". She spent a year in California at University of California, Los Angeles.[3] She earned her PhD, "Cosmic giants on cosmic scales" under the supervision of Will Farr and Trevor Ponman at the University of Birmingham in 2016.[4][5] At Birmingham she arranged "Astronomy in the City", a series of public astronomy events.[1][6] She was awarded the 2015 UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Outreach award.[7]


Lieu won a prestigious research fellowship at the at the European Space Agency in 2016.[8] She joined the Euclid team based at the European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid. On the Euclid spacecraft, Lieu uses weak gravitational lensing to estimate the cluster mass of galaxies.[9] She is developing statistical methods to process data, and better understand the physics of galaxy clusters and their role in the Dark Universe.[10] In 2014, Lieu co-founded "Impact Midlands Physics Alliance Conference Training" an initiative to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration of young astronomers in the Midlands.[11] Lieu is a member of several international collaborations, she is a key scientist in the XXL collaboration and committee member of the joint HSC - XXL collaboration.[12][13][14]

Public Engagement[edit]

In 2016 Lieu developed and presented a series of online content for A-level physics students including podcasts and videos. [15] Lieu appeared in the 2017 Amazon TV show, "Meet the Superbrains", which aired on the Discovery Channel.[16][17] Lieu is the scientific advisor for Atomicom Limited.[18] She provided the scientific content and voiceover for upcoming video game JCB Pioneer Mars.[19] In 2018 she will give a keynote talk at Space Rocks, European Space Agency's two-day space festival in London.[20]

Mars One[edit]

In 2014 Lieu became a finalist in the competition to visit to Mars with Mars One.[21][22][23] The project planned to set up a permanent human settlement by 2024.[24] Out of 200,000 applicants, Lieu made it down to the final five from the UK.[25] Lieu wanted to be "among the first to give birth on Mars", but that there would only be "a small pool of potential fathers to pick from".[26][27] In February 2015 it was announced she had made it down to the final 100 candidates.[28][29][30] She was concerned that her "mum would be quite upset".[31] In June 2015, Lieu pulled out, citing work commitments.[32][33] Lieu used the opportunity to promote astrophysics to the general public.[34] She ran a series of public talks about relocation to Mars.[35][36]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Layton, Josh (2015-02-25). "Mars One Maggie Lieu defends one-way mission as study claims would-be astronauts will only live 68 days". birminghammail. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  2. "Undergraduate Student Profile: Maggie Lieu" (PDF). University of Kent. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  3. "Favole & Lieu - Cosmos". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  4. University of Birmingham Graduate School (2016-07-13), Maggie Lieu (College of Engineering and Physical Sciences -Physics and Astronomy), retrieved 2018-02-21
  5. Maggie, Lieu, (2016). "Cosmic giants on cosmic scales". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  6. "Astronomy in the City". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  7. "UKSEDS Award Winners 2015 | UKSEDS". UKSEDS. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  8. "Favole & Lieu - Cosmos". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  9. "Maggie Lieu - Cosmos". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  10. European Space Agency, ESA (2018-02-09), ESAC Research Fellows – Maggie Lieu, retrieved 2018-02-21
  11. "IMPACT conference". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  12. "XXL Hunt for galaxy clusters". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  13. "The Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Program". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  14. "The XXL project". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  15. "A level resources". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  16. "The Gamechangers: Inventing The World (aka Meet The Superbrains) : Programs : Discovery Channel : Discovery Press Web". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  17. "Meet The Superbrains - Season 1 : Watch online now with Amazon Instant Video: Discovery:". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  18. "JCB Pioneer Mars - Andrew Santos & Maggie Lieu Interview". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  19. "JCB Pioneer: Mars on Steam". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  20. "Events | Space Rocks". Space Rocks. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  21. "Maggie Lieu - Mars One Community Platform". Mars One Community Platform. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  22. "Maggie goes to Mars". University of Birmingham. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  23. Erik,, Seedhouse,. Mars One : the ultimate reality TV show?. Cham. p. 59. ISBN 3319444972. OCLC 961185124. Search this book on Logo.png
  24. "Woman pulls out of one-way Mars trip". BBC News. 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  25. "Maggie goes to Mars". University of Birmingham. 2014-01-29. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  26. Dassanayake, Dion (2015-01-30). "'Adam and Eve of another planet': Briton bids to be first woman to give birth to MARTIAN". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  27. "What planet is she on? It'll wreck her health, be suffocatingly claustrophobic - and she'll never see her family again. So why does Maggie want to live on Mars?". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  28. RTQuestionMore (2015-02-20), Mars One finalist Maggie Lieu speaks to RT International, retrieved 2018-02-21
  29. Agency (2015-02-16). "Mars One mission: five Britons shortlisted for one-way trip to Red Planet". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  30. Alexander, Sophie (2015-02-17). "Five Brits shortlisted for bonkers ONE WAY trip to MARS". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  31. Collins, Kat (2015-02-16). "'I may go to Mars and never come back' - BBC Newsbeat". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  32. "Woman pulls out of one-way Mars trip". BBC News. 2015-06-17. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  33. Fricker, Martin (2015-06-16). "British student Maggie Lieu pulls out of mission to colonise Mars". mirror. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  34. "life on mars interview with maggie lieu of mars one". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  35. 2000, University College London-Gower Street- London- WC1E 6BT Tel: +4420 7679. "APEX: Maggie Lieu - Can humans really relocate to Mars?". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
  36. "Maggie Lieu talks to 5P". Heavers Farm Primary School. 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2018-02-21.

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