Computational Galaxy Formation


The computational & theoretical galaxy formation group at LJMU works on many aspects of galaxy formation and evolution, using state-of-the-art N-body and cosmological hydrodynamical simulations carried out on our own HPC cluster as well as on national and international supercomputing facilities, such as DiRAC and PRACE. Three of our members are associates of the Virgo Consortium for Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations.

Our simulations are used extensively by a number of observational collaborations and we work closely with observers to interpret a wide variety of observational data and test the realism of our models.

Virgo Logo.jpg



Research Staff

Research interests

Rob Crain R.A.Crain galaxies (ADS)  
Andreea Font A.S.Font galaxies, Milky Way (ADS)  
Ian McCarthy I.G.McCarthy large-scale structure (ADS)  

Postdoctoral fellows (add to emails)  
Joachim Harnois-Deraps J.HarnoisDeraps large-scale structure  
Juliana Kwan J.Kwan large-scale structure  
Jaime Salcido J.SalcidoNegrete galaxies, large-scale structure  
Victoria Yankelevich V.Yankelevich large-scale structure  

Graduate students (add to emails)  
Alberto Acuto A.Acuto@2017. large-scale structure  
Shaun Brown S.T.Brown@2018. galaxies, large-scale structure  
Alex Hill A.D.Hill@2017. galaxies  
Robert Poole-McKenzie R.PooleMckenzie@2013. galaxies, Milky Way  
Sam Stafford S.Stafford@2014. large-scale structure  

Past students and postdocs  
Jonathan Davies (now a postdoc at University College London)  
Violeta Gonzelez-Perez (now a postdoc a University of Madrid)  
Egidijus Kukstas (now a postdoc at University of Liverpool)  
Benjamin Mummery (now works for STFC)  
Simon Pfeifer (now a postdoc at Potsdam AIP)  
Adrien Thob (now a postdoc at University of Washington)  

PhD Positions

We offer PhD projects in all our research areas. We encourage potential applicants to contact individual staff members about projects.


We have constructed our own cluster using five Dell PowerEdge r815 servers with 320 AMD opteron 2.5 GHz cores and 2.5 TB of RAM (combined), running Scientific Linux 6.4 and with Intel c and fortran compilers. There is a 10 Gbps ethernet connection between the servers.

We use the cluster for analysing large volume simulations carried out on national HPC facilities and for running and analysing 'zoomed' simulations of disc galaxies, run primarily with the massively parallel cosmological simulation code Gadget-3.


We have high-capacity storage servers, in the form of a Dell PowerVault M1200 with 48TB of direct-attached storage and two Teravault RS5600s and two Teravault RS6600 servers with 360TB (combined) of network-attached storage. The servers are linked to our compute cluster via a 10 Gbps ethernet connection.

Our servers store the outputs (snapshots) and processed data products (movies, maps, catalogs, etc.) of our simulations, which can contain several billion resolution elements (particles) each.