Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

  • Senior Astrophysicist

  • Former Director, Chandra X-ray Center (2014-2020)

University of Bristol, UK

Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellow, 2021-2023

Jesus College Cambridge

Honorary Fellow

Contact Information

Office: B-426 60 Garden St., Cambridge MA 02138

Phone: +1-617-721-4357

Email: bwilkes [at] cfa.harvard.edu

ORCID ID: 0000 0003 1809 2364


Ph.D. Cambridge University 1982

B.Sc. (Hons) St. Andrews University 1978

Professional Societies

Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society

Fellow, Cambridge Philosophical Society

Fellow, American Astronomical Society

Member, International Astronomical Union

Member, European Astronomical Society

Fellow, American Physical Society

Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research Interests

  • X-ray/radio jets from quasars at high redshift and AGN Unification

  • Observations of Spectral energy distributions (100μ - 3.5 keV) of quasars to study their energy generation mechanisms and the relation of emission lines and ionizing continuum shape

  • Soft X-ray spectra of quasars, including intervening and intrinsic absorption and the association of the former with absorption seen in the ultra-violet

  • X-ray and Multi-wavelength surveys with a particular interest in the resulting quasars and active galaxy samples.

  • Optical spectroscopy of quasars and study of their broad emission lines

Recent Publications