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Prof Valentina Zharkova


Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Graduated with first class with distinction degree in Applied Math from Kiev National University, Kiev, Ukraine (1975); did PhD in Astrophysics ‘Radiative transfer of solar prominences’ at Main Astronomical Observatory, Kiev, Ukraine, viva in 1984. Worked as Researcher/Lecturer/ Senior Lecturer at KNU (1975-1994). In 1992 moved to Glasgow University, UK as Senior Research Fellow to investigate energetic particles in solar flares. Discovered sunquakes induced by flaring processes, published a paper in Nature, 1998 with wide media coverage.  In 2000 moved to Bradford University as Lecturer, then Reader (2002) and Professor of Applied Mathematics (2005).   Joined Northumbria University in September 2013 as Professor of Mathematics. Taught the key Maths and Physics modules. Published more then 200 papers, from which 3 papers in Nature group journals (during work at NU), one of the papers was predicting the modern Grand Solar Minimum (2020-2053). Published a monograph on particle kinetics, was an Editor a book on automated recognition and classification of digital images and the RHESSI book on high energy particles. Also published 18 chapters in other books. Received funding from European Commission, EPSRC, STFC, the Royal society, the RAS and US Airforce. At NU was the MPEE department Lead in international affairs (2014-2016) and in Equality and Diversity (2018-2020).


SOHO/MDO team award for discovery of sunquake (1999), RHESSI award for outstanding research (2005), NSF US award for advanced studies of solar flares (2002)

Valentina Zharkova

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • Applied Mathematics, Plasma Physics, Pattern Recognition, Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Solar Activity
  • Scholarly Activity Departmental Lead in international affairs, departmental Lead in Equality and Diversity

Sponsors and Collaborators

I am a member of London Mathematical Society (LMS), European Mathematical Society (EMS), European Physics Society (EPS), Fellow of Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), International Astronomical Union (IAU) and COSPAR (Committee on Space Research).

Key Publications

  1. Zharkova, V. V. and Xia, Q. , Pitch-angle distribution of accelerated electrons in 3D current sheets with magnetic islands, 2021, A&A, 648, A51
  2. Valentina Zharkova, Sergei Zharkov, Malcolm Druett, Sarah Matthews, and Satoshi Inoue, Sunquake with a second-bounce, other sunquakes and emission associated with X9.3 flare of 6 September 2017. II. Proposed interpretation, 2020, A&A, 639, A79
  3. Qian Xia and Valentina Zharkova, Particle acceleration in coalescent and squashed magnetic islands. I. Particle-in-cell approach, 2020, A&A, 635, A116
  4. Druett M. and Zharkova V., Non-thermal hydrogen Lyman line and continuum emission in solar flares generated by electron beams, 2019, A&A, 623, id.A20, 22 pp
  5. Druett M., Scullion E., Zharkova V., Matthews S., Zharkov S. and Van der Voort, L.P. BEAM ELECTRONS AS A SOURCE OF H-alpha FLARE RIBBONS, 2017, Nature Communications, 8, 15905
  6. Zharkova V.V., Shepherd S.J., Popova E., Zharkov S.I., Heartbeat of the Sun from Principal Component Analysis and prediction of solar activity, 2015, Nature Scientific Reports, 5, 15689

PGR Supervision

Malcolm Druett The Effects of Energetic Particles on Radiative Transfer and Emission from Hydrogen in Solar Flares Start Date: 01/10/2014 End Date: 23/04/2018


  • BSc/MSc in Applied Maths, first degree with distinction, Kiev National University, Ukraine
  • PhD in Astrophysics, MAO, Kiev, Ukraine


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