Academic Background

Qualifications and Professional Registrations

-          B.Sc (hons) Physics w/ Astrophysics, Univ. Birmingham (1997)

-          M.Sc. Radiation Physics, UCL (2008)

-          PhD Astronomy, Univ. Southampton (2003)

-          Health and Care Professionals Council: Registered Clinical Scientist

-          Registered Medical Physics Expert (MPE)

-          MRI pulse programming certificate (GE, 2019)


Career Summary

I started my career as researcher in gamma-ray astronomy (>100keV) and was involved in a number of Nasa missions (Swift, CGRO/BATSE), then moving to Geneva to represent the Max-Planck Institute for Extra-terrestrial Physics (Munich, Germany) as an Archive Scientist for the ESA mission INTEGRAL. My areas of specific interest were Monte-Carlo modelling, polarimetry and gamma-ray bursts (GRB).

From there I moved into medical physics, qualifying and registering as a Clinical Scientist. The relevant portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for medical physics being very similar to that of gamma-ray astronomy.  I worked at a number of hospitals mainly in radiotherapy but also in diagnostic radiology, radiation protection and ultrasound. During this time, I wrote bespoke software for monitoring radiation doses and was a contributing member of the Institute for Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) special interest group for Informatics and Computing, writing good practise guidance for writing software in a healthcare environment.

After 10 years in the NHS, I moved into MRI research in the medical school and am focussing on computational processing for a number of projects, image analysis and spectroscopy.

I am now a RSC funded programmer/scientist for Prof Corinne Le Quéré's group, modelling the physical and biochemical processes in the ocean that affect the carbon sink and its reaction and effect on climate change. My primary area of research is to develop an ocean model of unprecidented complexity and resolution.


Seleted Publications



Corinne Le Quéré, Robert B. Jackson, Matthew W. Jones, Adam J. P. Smith, Sam Abernethy, Robbie M. Andrew, Anthony J. De-Gol, David R. Willis, Yuli Shan, Josep G. Canadell, Pierre Friedlingstein, Felix Creutzig & Glen P. Peters

"Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement"

Nature Climate Change volume 10pages647653(2020)



Willis D. R., Cameron D, Hewson D, Greenwood R, Vassillou V

A systematic comparison of systolic and diastolic reproducibility in T1 and T2 mapping of the myocardial septum.”

(Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR))

Willis D., Cameron D, Kasmai B, Baio G, Toms A, Malcolm P

“Vector mapping: a quantative method for measuring bowel motility.” (oral presentation, Feb 2019) Advanced Approaches to Body MRI – Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Willis D., Greenwood  RJ, Cameron D, Rodak Z, Graves M, Malcolm P

“The feasibility of a navigator-triggered echoplanar imaging sequence for MRI elastography of the liver” (oral presentation, Feb 2019) Advanced Approaches to Body MRI – Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Willis D., Cameron D, Malcolm M, Johnson G

“Getting more from less: a morphological model of diffusion in the prostate for improving the predictive power of DWI in identifying tumors.” (poster presentation, May 2019) ISMRM, Montreal.



Ajello, M.; Greiner, J.; Sato, G.; Willis, D. R.; Kanbach, G.; Strong, A. W.; Diehl, R.; Hasinger, G.; Gehrels, N.; Markwardt, C. B.; Tueller, J.

"Cosmic X-Ray Background and Earth Albedo Spectra with Swift BAT".  The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 689, Issue 2, pp. 666-677 (2008).

Link: DOI: 10.1086/592595


Bodaghee, A.; Courvoisier, T. J.-L.; Rodriguez, J.; Beckmann, V.; Produit, N.; Hannikainen, D.; Kuulkers, E.; Willis, D. R.; Wendt, G.

“A description of sources detected by INTEGRAL during the first 4 years of observations”. Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 467, Issue 2, 2007, pp.585-596

Link: DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077091


Bird, A. J.; Barlow, E. J.; Bassani, L.; Bazzano, A.; Bélanger, G.; Bodaghee, A.; Capitanio, F.; Dean, A. J.; Fiocchi, M.; Hill, A. B.; Lebrun, F.; Malizia, A.; Mas-Hesse, J. M.; Molina, M.; Moran, L.; Renaud, M.; Sguera, V.; Shaw, S. E.; Stephen, J. B.; Terrier, R.; Ubertini, P.; Walter, R.; Willis, D. R.; Winkler, C.

“The Second IBIS/ISGRI Soft Gamma-Ray Survey Catalog”. The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 636, Issue 2, 2006, pp. 765-776.

Link: DOI: 10.1086/498090


Willis, D. R.; Barlow, E. J.; Bird, A. J.; Clark, D. J.; Dean, A. J.; McConnell, M. L.; Moran, L.; Shaw, S. E.; Sguera, V.

"Evidence of polarisation in the prompt gamma-ray emission from GRB 930131 and GRB 960924”. Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 439, Issue 1, August III 2005, pp.245-253

Link: DOI:10.1051/0004-6361:20052693


Shaw, S. E.; Westmore, M. J.; Bird, A. J.; Dean, A. J.; Ferguson, C.; Gurriaran, R.; Lockley, J. J.; Willis, D. R.

“A mass model for estimating the gamma ray background of the Burst and Transient Source Experiment”. Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.398, p.391-402 (2003)

Link: DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021668


Dean, A. J.; Bird, A. J.; Diallo, N.; Ferguson, C.; Lockley, J. J.; Shaw, S. E.; Westmore, M. J.; Willis, D. R.

“The Modelling of Background Noise in Astronomical Gamma Ray Telescopes”. Space Science Reviews, v. 105, Issue 1, p. 285-376 (2003).

Link:  DOI: 10.1023/A:1023995803108



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