Francesco Shankar is Professor of Astrophysics in the Astronomy group at the University of Southampton. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

After obtaining his PhD at SISSA, he moved for a postdoc to the Ohio State University, to the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics as an Alexander von Hulmboldt Fellow, and then to the Observatoire de Paris as a Marie Curie Fellow. He then joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2013. Prof Shankar is now PI of the BiD4BEST H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network