Victor P. Debattista
Galaxy Dynamics Group

Reader in Astrophysics
Jeremiah Horrocks Institute
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, UK PR1 2HE
Telephone: +44 (0)177 289 3568
Fax: +44 (0)177 289 2996


Recent Results in the News

In collaboration with Peter Erwin (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics) we recently discovered the first examples of barred galaxies in the process of buckling. This work was described in AAS Nova.

GalaxyFlyer: We are collaborating with Laurent Noel, of UCLan's Software Engineering group, to create an efficient, visualisation software for large simulations. This is an example of a simulation covering a large cosmological volume simulated with gas and star formation from Samuel Earp's research (239 Mb). We have showcased this software at here AstroFest.

Research Group Members

Victor Debattista Adam Clarke Samuel Earp

Former Group Members

David Cole Elisa Portaluri Markus Hartmann

PhD positions

PhD positions are available to work in my group to study the formation and evolution of the disk of the Milky Way. The project will seek to make sense of the data from the Gaia satellite, which was launched in 2013. The first data release came in September 2016. The successful applicant will learn how to run and analyse large simulations with gas and star formation to compare with observations. If interested, please contact me directly via email.

The theme of my research is the formation and evolution of galaxies, which I study through simulations, observations and modeling.

Understanding the formation of galaxies — the fundamental building blocks of the universe — with their array of morphologies and scaling relations, is one of the most important problems in cosmology today. Among the questions that need to be addressed are:

  • How did the Milky Way form? How was its bulge formed? Where are stars now in relation to where they were born? How is the disk orientated relative to the halo?
  • How do stars form in galaxies? How can we use the ages of stars to disentangle the formation of galaxies? How much is this archaeological record disturbed by internal evolution and cannibalism?
  • How do galaxies get their shapes? What sorts of structures arise from internal evolution? What sorts of structures result from external evolution? How can the two be distinguished?
  • How do supermassive black holes and nuclear clusters form and evolve?
  • What is the nature of dark matter? How much dark matter is there, how is it distributed, what is its angular momentum? How can we use the observed structure of galaxies to constrain these properties of dark matter halos?