Josh Kirklin

Ph.D. University of Cambridge (2020)

M.Ma. University of Cambridge (2016) 

B.A. University of Cambridge (2016)

At a very basic level, scientific observation is just a process by which we are provided with a list of numbers describing the outcomes of their experiments. Scientists attempt to find a mathematical model which can reproduce correlations between the various numbers in the list, but arguably the list, and the information it contains, is more fundamental than the model. This perspective was termed 'it from bit' by John Wheeler in 1986, and my main interests lie in applying it to quantum gravity. In particular, I try to think about how this approach is informed by experimentally verified properties of gravity, such as its low energy behavior in the semiclassical limit. The relevance of objects such as black holes in this regime allow us to ask very sharp questions about the underlying information. More generally I am also interested in what we can learn from specific models that describe the ultraviolet physics. 

List of publications:

E-mail: joshua.kirklin [at]


Isha Kotecha

PhD Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics-Potsdam, Humboldt University of Berlin (2020) 
MASt University of Cambridge (2013)
MSci (incl. BSc) Imperial College London (2012)
To understand better the nature of spacetime and quantum theory is an ongoing effort across communities. The interface of gravity, thermal physics and quantum theory has offered many key insights in this respect. For instance, the notions of time, temperature and energy are found to be intimately linked, especially in a background independent context. These further seem to be related to the presence of information barriers in general, e.g. causal horizons in spacetime. There are several such concepts and quantities that become deeply intertwined at this interface, like time, energy, entropy, geometry, causality, entanglement and observers. My research interests are broadly aimed at probing this interface, utilising tools from quantum information theory and many-body physics. I am particularly interested in understanding generic, more universal properties of (quantum) spacetime, and its thermal features. I am also interested in spacetime thermodynamics, and its emergence from the collective behaviour of underlying quantum gravitational degrees of freedom.

E-mail: isha.kotecha [at]

Fabio Maria Mele

Ph.D. University of Regensburg, Germany (2020)

M.Sc. University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy (2016)

B.Sc. University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy (2013)

Recent developments in different approaches to quantum gravity seem to suggest a very intriguing picture of spacetime as a many-body quantum system whose physical properties result from the correlations and exchange of information among its microscopic texture. My main interests lie in further exploring such a picture and its foundational implications, with a multi-disciplinary and possibly approach-independent attitude. This consists first of all in investigating how the structures characterizing spacetime at classical and ultimately quantum level can be inferred from general ideas and techniques borrowed from statistical mechanics, information theory and thermodynamics. Second, I am interested in the lessons and insights that we can learn from implementing the above perspective in specific microscopic models of spacetime. In this sense, black holes and cosmological systems can offer promising scenarios where these questions can be addressed in a simplified setting.

List of publications:

E-mail: fabio.mele [at]

Rotation Students 

Jiahui Bao

Bachelor degree: Hunan University
Master degree: Sun Yat-sen University
E-mail: jiahui.bao [at]

Miguel Jorquera Riera 

MPhys (incl. BSc), Lancaster University (2018)

E-mail: miquel.jorquera [at]



Victor Castillo Martinez 

MASt Applied Mathematics, University of Cambridge 

BSc Physics, King’s College London


E-mail: vc383 [at] 

*expected to start the internship on OIST campus shortly.


Research Unit Administrator 

Midori Tanahara

Midori was born in Okinawa, studied in Tokyo and Vancouver and joined OIST in 2008.  She provides an administrative support to the Hoehn Group for daily lab operation.  She loves to travel, cook and eat.

E-mail: midori.tanahara [at]