Academic Staff

Maria R Cunningham

PhD, B App. Sc. (Hons), UWS

Senior Lecturer

Department and Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Molecular Astrophysics: One of my main areas of research is the use of molecular line radiation to investigate the physical conditions and chemistry of molecular clouds, both in the Milky Way and in other galaxies.
  • Bioastronomy: Bioastronomy and astrobiology are among the most exciting areas of research in science today, bringing together scientists from the disciplines of physics, astronomy, geology, chemistry and biology. My own interests lie in investigating pre-biotic molecules in the interstellar medium, and I am involved in collaborative research with groups in the USA, Chile and Germany.
  • Turbulence and energy transfer in the interstellar medium: I am interested in using astronomical observations of the interstellar medium to constrain the turbulent properties, and to determine the effect that turbulence and energy transfer through the interstellar medium have on star formation.

Selected Publications

  • Lo, N, Cunningham, M, Jones, PA, Bains, I, Burton, MG, Wong, T, Muller, E, Kramer, C, Ossenkopf, V, Henkel, C, Deragopian, G, Donnelly, S & Ladd, EF, 2009, 'Molecular line mapping of the giant molecular cloud associated with RCW 106 - III. Multimolecular line mapping', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 395, no. 2, pp. 1021 - 1042. 
  • Cunningham, M, Jones, PA, Godfrey, P, Cragg, D, Bains, I, Burton, MG, Calisse, PG, Crighton, NH, Curran, SJ, Davis, TM, Dempsey, JT, Fulton, B, Hidas, MG, Hill, TL, Kedziora-Chudczer, LL, Minier, V, Pracy, MB, Purcell, CR, Shobbrook, J & Travouillon, TD, 2007, 'A search for propylene oxide and glycine in Sagittarius B2 (LMH) and Orion', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 376, pp. 1201 - 1210. 
  • Lo, N, Cunningham, M, Bains, I, Burton, MG & Garay, G, 2007, 'Detection of SiO emission from a massive dense cold core', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society -Letters, vol. 381, pp. L30 - L34. 
  • Jones, PA, Cunningham, M, Godfrey, P & Cragg, D, 2007, 'A search for biomolecules in Sagittarius B2 (LMH) with the Australia Telescope Compact Array', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 374, pp. 579 - 589, Jones, PA, Univ New S Wales, Sch Phys, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia., ResPubs ID: 200701094
  • For further selected publications and more research information see

Contact Details 

Mail Address

School of Physics
The University of New South Wales

Email Address

Phone Number

61 2 9385 5662

Facsimile Number

61 2 9385 6060