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Teaching Staff

Professor PARKER, Quentin A

Professor PARKER, Quentin A

Faculty of Science, HKU

B.Sc.(Hons), PhD (St. Andrews); FASA; FRAS

  • 3962 1436

    Current Research

    • Astronomy Astrophysics & Space Science

      • Prof. Q.A. Parker arrived at HKU in March 2015 from the Australian Astronomical Observatory and Macquarie University, Sydney, where he was director of leading astrophysics and astrophotonics research centre. After spells as Head of Physics and Associate Dean (global) in the FoS he currently directs the Laboratory for Space Research (see Here he has established a world-leading group in late-stage stellar evolution that includes post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae and massive star ejecta. This task is greatly assisted by the appointment of several postdoctoral research fellows. These currently comprise Dr. Chih-hao Hsia, Dr. Partha Sarathi Pal, and Dr. Andreas Ritter, together with PhD, MPhil students and several RAs. Significant contributions to this research field and other LSR activities have been made by his group including seven HKU press releases and several papers in Nature and Nature Astronomy between 2018 and 2022. Exciting research opportunities exist for additional research postgraduate students to join the team. This group also has strong synergies to existing astrophysics and space science expertise elsewhere in the FoS.


    Research Interests

    • Astronomy, Astrophysics & Space Science
    • Planetary Nebulae
    • Supernova Remnants
    • Large Scale Widefield Surveys
    • Astronomical Instrumentation
    • Galactic Archaeology
    • Chinese Bronze and Antiquities
    • Science education pedagogy


      Representative recent Publications since 2015

      • V. Fragkou, Q.A. Parker, A.A. Zijlstra, R. Vasquez, L. Sabin & J. Rechy-Gaercia. Discovery of the oldest visible planetary nebula hosted by a 500 million year old galactic cluster. ApJ Letters, 935, 35, August 2022:
      • S. SeyedAbdolreza, Q.A. Parker, C-H. Hsia &  Z. Yong.  A Theoretical Study of Infrared Spectra of Highly Positively Charged C60 Fullerenes and Their Relevance to Observed UIE Features. ApJ, 934, 24, July 2022:
      • A. Ritter, A., Q.A. Parker,  F. Lykou, A.A. Zijlstra,  M.A.Guerrero & P. Le Du. The Remnant and Origin of the Historical Supernova 1181 AD. ApJ, 918, 33, September 2021:
      • I.S. Bojičic, M.D. Filipovič, D. Urosevic, Q.A. Parker & T.J. Galvin. Determination of Planetary Nebulae angular diameters from radio continuum spectral energy distribution modeling. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 503, 2887, May 2021:
      • S. SeyedAbdolreza & Q.A. Parker. It Remains a Cage: Ionization Tolerance of C60 Fullerene in Planetary Nebulae. Fullerenes Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures, 29:8, 620-625, February 2021, DOI: 10.1080/1536383X.2021.1876677
      • V. Fragkou, Q.A. Parker, A.A. Zijlstra, L. Crause & H. Barker. A high-mass planetary nebula in a Galactic open cluster. Nature Astronomy, 3, 851-857, June 2019:
      • V. Fragkou, Q.A. Parker,  A. Zijlstra, R.F. Shaw & F. Lykou. The central star of planetary nebula PHR 1315 - 6555 and its host Galactic open cluster AL 1.  Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 484, 3078-3092, April 2019, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz108
      • S. SeyedAbdolreza & Q.A.Parker. The Astrochemistry Implications of Quantum Chemical Normal Modes Vibrational Analysis. Galaxies, 6, 123-129, November 2018, DOI: 10.3390/galaxies6040123
      • Q.A. Parker, I. Bojcic & D.J. Frew. HASH: The Hong Kong/AAO/Strasbourg H-alpha planetary nebula database, 11th Pacific Rim Conference held in Hong-Kong in Dec 2015. JPhCS, Conference Series 728, no.3, 2016, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/728/3/032008
      • D. J. Frew, Q. A. Parker & I. S. Bojicic. The Hα surface brightness- radius relation: a robust statistical distance indicator for planetary nebulae. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 455:1459–1488, January 2016, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1516


      Fellowships & Other Asteem Factors

      • Vice Chairman (external) of the Orion Astropreneur Space Academy (2022 – )

      • Consultant CPPCC Hangzhou-Hong-Kong Friendship Association (2018 – )

      • Member of the Oriental Ceramics Society of Hong Kong (2015 - )

      • Member of the International Astronomical Union (1995 - )

      • Fellow of the Astronomical Society of Australia (1994 - )

      • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (1988 - )


      Professional Prizes and Awards for Research, Teaching and Leadership ($4.65M HKD)



      International Gemini Prize for excellence in Pro-Am research $9K + medal



      HKU international travel fellowship $50K



      HKU Sino-British Fellowship $25K



      Various HKU Knowledge Exchange & conference and travel grants $500K



      MQ University “Jim Piper” Award for Excellence in Research Leadership $120K



      Prestigious Gutenberg Professorial Chair, Strasbourg, France $3.2M



      MQ Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching $360K



      Australian “ALTC” Citation for Excellence in Undergraduate Learning $360K



      MQ Recipient of University Innovations awards for Excellence in Research $120K



      MQ Shortlisted for University Innovations Award in Research & Engineering



      MQ Highly Commended for University Innovations in Learning and Teaching



      MQ Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in PhD Supervision $180K



      MQ Divisional Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching $180K


      Professional Grants

      Ten-year major grant External and Internal awards  track record: $HK105.8million in instrumentation, astrophysics research, science education and capacity building

      RGMS (HK) round 4&5:


      CI Parker, Su $51.4M HKD

      RGMS (HK) rounds 1&2:


      CI Parker, Su $28.5M HKD

      UGC T&L (HK):           


      CIs Parker, Knothe, Lee, $3.314M HKD

      RGC (HK) 17609318:


      CIs Zhou, Parker $529K HKD

      RGC (HK) 17304018:


      CIs Parker, Zijlstra, Gesicki, $520K HKD

      RGC (HK) 17300417:  


      CIs Parker, Zijlstra, Frew $520K HKD

      RGC (HK) 17326116:   


      CIs Parker, Frew, Bojicic  $540K HKD

      ARC LEI40100052:      


      CIs Colless, + Parker et al. $350K HKD

      ARC LE130100198:      


      CIs B-Hawthorn, Croom, Parker+ $2M HKD

      ARC DP120103751:      


      CIs Ireland, Parker, Bedding $2.13M HKD

      ARC DP120104416:      


      CIs Freeman, Parker, B-Hawthorn $1.7M HKD

      ARC LE120100023:      


      CIs Bessell, Dopita, Parker et al $1.1M HKD

      OLT Teaching grant:     


      CIs Mulligan, Parker, Hedberg, Cody $15M HKD

      MQAAAstro centre:      


      CI Parker, $1.85M HKD 

      Guttenberg Chair:                       


      CI Parker, $650K HKD (Strasbourg, France)

      BRC (HKU):


      CIs Parker, Su, $10M HKD

      PDF award (HKU):  


      CIs Parker, Kwok and Wu $1M HKD

      PDF award (HKU):    


      CIs Lee, Parker, Knothe $1M HKD

      Travel/seed funding:


      CI  Parker $575K HKD