I am professor for theoretical astrophysics at Heidelberg University. My research activities focus on the formation of stars at present days and in the early universe, on the dynamics of the interstellar medium, on astrophysical turbulence, and on the development of numerical methods for computational astrophysics.

For an overview of my curriculum vitae follow this LINK.

For my website at the Center for Astronomy at Heidelberg University follow this LINK.

Current Research Highlight

October 2019: Simulations of the star-forming molecular gas in an interacting M51-like galaxy

Tress, Robin G., Smith, Rowan J., Sormani, Mattia C., Glover, Simon C. O., Klessen, Ralf S., Mac Low, Mordecai-Mark, Clark, Paul C., MNRAS, submitted (2019) [arXiv:1909.10520 — ADS link]

Column density map of the M51 simulation.

In this study we aim at better understanding the evolution and properties of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in a galactic context. We perform high resolution, three-dimensional Arepo simulations of an interacting galaxy inspired by the well-observed M51 galaxy. Our fiducial simulations include a non-equilibrium, time-dependent, chemical network that follows the evolution of atomic and molecular hydrogen as well as carbon and oxygen self-consistently. Our calculations also treat gas self-gravity and subsequent star formation (described by sink particles), and coupled supernova feedback. In the densest parts of the simulated interstellar medium (ISM) we reach sub-parsec resolution, granting us the ability to resolve individual GMCs and their formation and destruction self-consistently throughout the galaxy. In this initial work we focus on the general properties of the ISM with a particular focus on the cold star-forming gas. We discuss the role of the interaction with the companion galaxy in generating cold molecular gas and controlling stellar birth. We find that while the interaction drives large-scale gas flows and induces spiral arms in the galaxy, it is of secondary importance in determining gas fractions in the different ISM phases and the overall star-formation rate. The behaviour of the gas on small GMC scales instead is mostly controlled by the self-regulating property of the ISM driven by coupled feedback.


Earlier Research Highlights

For the research highlights of previous months, follow this LINK.

Funding Sources