David Marsh is Vice Director of EuCAPT

EuCAPT is a European consortium for astroparticle theory. It aims to bring together European researchers in theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology. In early February, David Marsh took over as Vice Director of the consortium. At Fysikum he is a researcher in astroparticle physics and teaches the course Quantum Phenomena and Radiation Physics.

David Marsh, assistant professor, Fysikum
David Marsh, Assistant Professor, Fysikum. Photo: Gunilla Häggström

EuCAPT (European Consortium for Astroparticle Theory) was established in 2019 and has quickly grown to include 1700 researchers spread across 126 institutions in Europe. The aim is to increase exchanges between researchers, coordinate scientific activities, help researchers find funding and create an open and attractive environment for young researchers.
"Astroparticle physics and cosmology are fields where a lot has happened in recent years. But many of the biggest problems in fundamental physics, such as the nature of dark matter and how to explain dark energy, remain to be solved. EuCAPT's rapid growth is an indication that there is a huge appetite for increased interactions across geographical and research discipline boundaries," says David Marsh.
"We organise an annual symposium at CERN that brings together researchers from across the field. During the pandemic, the symposia were held online, with between 500 and 900 researchers from around the world participating. Last year, around 300 people attended in person."
EuCAPT also organises smaller, thematic workshops and holds an online colloquium series.
"Our exchange programmes are very popular. Within them, researchers can apply for funding to visit another member organisation or to meet with other researchers at CERN, for example to complete a joint project.
Since 2019, I have been a member of the board and led a group that developed the EuCAPT website. Among other things, we have started a Youtube channel where we interview researchers in the field about their motivations, life in academia, and what they do when they are not doing research. The aim is to stimulate cohesion and identity within the field."
In February, EuCAPT's first director, Gianfranco Bertone from the University of Amsterdam, handed over the leadership of the organisation to the new director, Silvia Pascoli from the University of Bologna. At the same time, David Marsh was appointed Vice Director.  
"It is a great pleasure and honour to take on this role. EuCAPT has enormous potential, and we will work hard to ensure that the organisation continues to develop and to improve the conditions for researchers in the field."
As a new type of activity, EuCAPT will start organising online meetings when exciting new discoveries in the field are made.
"There are times when it feels like we all turn to each other to discuss new findings or discoveries. These could be experimental or observational results, or theoretical breakthroughs. Being able to quickly organise a small online workshop on the subject where colleagues who have thought more about it can explain their views can be very valuable.
In addition to this, we are working on the eventual creation of a new prestigious Fellows Postdoctoral programme. We also look at social aspects such as working conditions for researchers, and the factors that encourage researchers to stay in the field or leave it. There may be factors that are particularly crucial for underrepresented groups of researchers, such as women, and it is important that there is an understanding of that," says David Marsh.
David Marsh completed his undergraduate studies at Uppsala University and obtained his PhD in theoretical physics at Cornell University in 2012. He then did a postdoc at the University of Oxford for three years, working on string cosmology and axions. Dark matter accounts for about 85 % of all mass in the universe. It is unknown what the dark matter consists of but one hypothesis is axions.
After Oxford, he worked at the University of Cambridge for four years as a "Stephen Hawking Advanced Fellow", which is a kind of senior postdoc. Since 2019, he is employed at the Physics Department and is part of the Division of Cosmology, Particle Astrophysics and Strings (CoPS), as well as the Oskar Klein Centre (OKC).


More information

David Marsh, Associate Senior Lecturer, Fysikum


Quantum Phenomenology and Radiation Physics, 7.5 credits

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