Samantha Penny Portrait

Dr Samantha Penny


I am a teaching fellow in physics, based in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. 


I obtained an MPhys in Physics with Astronomy from Cardiff University, followed by my PhD in Physics from the University of Nottingham in 2010. After this, I took up a six month Australia Awards Postdoctoral Fellowship at Swinburne Univerity in March 2011, followed by an ARC Super Science Fellowship at Monash University between September 2011 and September 2014. 


I then moved to the University of Portsmouth in September 2014 as a Senior Research Associate, before taking up my current role as a Teaching Fellow in Physics in September 2018. 

Research interests

My research primarily examines how the smallest galaxies in the Universe, known as dwarf galaxies, evolve in the nearby Universe. I carry out this research primarily through spectroscopy. In particular, I am interested in how and why such galaxies stop forming new stars, and my research suggests that supermassive black holes may play a role in this. I am also interested in the evolution of extremely isolated galaxies, as these galaxies are important tests of the processes internal to galaxies that shape their colours, morphologies, and star formation activity. 

Teaching responsibilities

I am coordinator for the first year Physics unit U20274 "Introduction to Mathematical Physics 2". I also assist with the delivery of the units U20273 "Introduction to Mathematical Physics 1", U24568 "Introduction to Computational Physics", U20509 "Universe: Planetary Systems, Stars and Galaxies" and U24582 "Observational Astronomy and Cosmology". 


In addition to teaching these units, I supervise final year projects for third and fourth year undergraduates, and I am a tutor at Maths Cafe.