Adrien Thob

Astrophysics Research Institute

Liverpool John Moores University

PhD student in Computational Cosmology

Liverpool John Moores University

Background credits: Composite image of gas, stars and dark matter of a LG-alike region simulated at high resolution as part of the APOSTLE project (Fattahi+, Sawala+). Made using the module Py-SPHViewer (DOI:10.5281/zenodo.21703) during my second internship at the Univ. of Victoria (Canada) under Prof. Julio Navarro supervision.

About me

Adrien Thob

Originally from France, I completed my MSc in Astrophysics at the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon as part of my training at the French graduate engineering school in Telecomunication & Data processing, Telecom Bretagne (now known as IMT Atlantique, after their fusion with the Mines de Nantes). I am now a PhD student at the ARI of LJMU under the supervision of Dr. Rob Crain.

As I am interested in cosmology, algorithmics optimisation, data & signal processing and computing hardware, my work consists in merging those fields to get the best of cosmological simulations. Because information travels at a limited speed through space, observational cosmology is constrained by a reduced perception of the Universe: cosmological simulations are fundamental to complete this scheme and round off our understanding. As they intend to compute complex physical interactions at cosmological scale with constant deeper resolution, it is crucial to properly optimize the involved software and hardware in order to reduce the computational time induced by those needs.

In my spare time, I am a musician, a wanderer and a gamer:

  • I play multiple instruments, and enjoy doing gigs with friends, my main instrument being the trumpet. My musical interests are influenced by street music like New Orleans riot jazz, Eastern Europe klezmer & Basque Country bandas.
  • Travelling and exploring became an important part of my life as I grew up, and I keep seeking for what the world can offer me by discovering natural treasures or feeding my cultural interests.
  • And when not exploring the real world, I relax exploring the virtual one of Guild Wars 2, a massive multiplayer online video game that I have enjoyed the lore of since the start of its predecessor.

Background credits: Picture taken during a hike up to the top of Mt. Albert Edward located in Strathcona Provincial Park, Canada.


2015- PhD in Computational Cosmology Astrophysics Research Institute (Liverpool John Moores University), United Kingdoms.
2009-2015 Engineer's Degree at the Graduate Engineering School (« Grande École ») in Telecommunication and Data Processing Engineering Télécom Bretagne (Institut Mines-Télécom), France.
2013-2015 Master’s Degree in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Engineering – Gravitational System Dynamics, (double-degree with Télécom Bretagne) Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, France.
2009-2010 Bachelor's Degree in Physics specializing in Astrophysics, (double-degree with Télécom Bretagne) Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France.
2006-2009 Preparation specializing in Mathematics and Physics for national competitive entrance exams to leading French « Grandes Écoles », Lycée Marcelin Berthelot, France.

Projects, Internships and Job experience

Internship 2015 Delved into the optimisation from observational data of the cosmological semi-analytical model of galaxy formation GalICS 2.0 during a 4-months internship within the laboratory Galaxies, Étoiles, Physique et Instrumentation of the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Cattaneo and Dr. Gary Mamon.
Internship 2014 Produced rendering videos of data from the future-to-be APOSTLE simulation project (Fattahi et al. 2015, Sawala et al. 2015) which uses the SPH code of EAGLE (Schaye et al. 2014) during a 3-months internship within the University of Victoria BC under the supervision of Prof. Julio Navarro.
Internship 2013 Analyzed star formation in galaxies and mergers with 8μm NASA Spitzer Space Telescope data during a 6-months internship within the University of Victoria BC and the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, under the supervision of Prof. Sara Ellison and Dr. Luc Simard.
Gap year 2011-2012 Explored the possible methodologies in preparation for the phase stability validation of the interferometer KaRIn in the NASA's mission SWOT during a 1-year internship within the Centre National d'Études Spatiales, under the supervision of Dr. Alain Mallet and Dr. Francis Gizard.
Project 2011 Characterized properties of sol-gel diffractive micro-optics components under high power laser with a multilingual team of 5 people during a Télécom Bretagne scholar project under the supervision of Prof. Kevin Heggarty.
Project 2010 Compared data from the project COSMIC to a model with a multilingual team of 4 people during a Télécom Bretagne scholar project under the supervision of Prof. Rolland Fleury.
Student Associative
Participated in the project to implant the Ø400mm Telescope of Télécom Bretagne as the head of the Astronomy student club (contacts: Prof. Bruno Fracasso, Prof. Alain Peden).


Programming Procedural Fortran, C, Matlab, Scilab, CamL
Object-Oriented Python, C++, Java
Web HTML, PHP, CSS, JavaScript
Other Paradigms SQL (querying), VHDL (dataflow), IDL (image processing)


(ADS, arXiv)

The relationship between the morphology and kinematics of galaxies and its dependence on dark matter halo structure in EAGLE
Thob, Adrien C. R.; Crain, Robert A.; McCarthy, Ian G.; Schaller, Matthieu; Lagos, Claudia D. P.; Schaye, Joop; Talens, Geert Jan J.; James, Philip A.; Theuns, Tom; Bower, Richard G.;
ADS arXiv

The new semianalytic code GalICS 2.0 - Reproducing the galaxy stellar mass function and the Tully-Fisher relation simultaneously
Cattaneo, Andrea; Blaizot, Jeremy; Devriendt, Julien E. G.; Mamon, Gary A.; Tollet, Edouard; Dekel, Avishai; Guiderdoni, Bruno; Kucukbas, Meric; Thob, Adrien C. R.;
ADS arXiv

The relation between galaxy morphology and colour in the EAGLE simulation
Correa, Camila A.; Schaye, Joop; Clauwens, Bart; Bower, Richard G.; Crain, Robert A.; Schaller, Matthieu; Theuns, Tom; Thob, Adrien C. R.;
ADS arXiv

Morphologies vs. kinematics, and dark matter halo

We investigate the connection between the morphology and internal kinematics of the stellar component of central galaxies with mass M > 109.5 M in the EAGLE simulations. We compare several kinematic diagnostics commonly used to describe simulated galaxies, and find good consistency between them. We model the structure of galaxies as ellipsoids and quantify their morphology via the ratios of their principal axes, finding that kinematic diagnostics enable a superior differentiation of blue star-forming and red quiescent galaxies than morphological definitions. Flattened oblate galaxies exhibit greater rotational support than their spheroidal counterparts, but there is significant scatter in the relationship between morphological and kinematical diagnostics, such that kinematically-similar galaxies can exhibit a broad range of morphologies. The scatter in the relationship between the flattening and the ratio of the rotation and dispersion velocities (v/σ) correlates strongly with the anisotropy of the stellar velocity dispersion: at fixed v/σ, flatter galaxies exhibit greater dispersion in the plane defined by the intermediate and major axes than along the minor axis, indicating that the morphology of simulated galaxies is influenced significantly by the structure of their velocity dispersion. The simulations reveal that this anisotropy correlates with the intrinsic morphology of the galaxy's inner dark matter halo, i.e. the halo's morphology that emerges in the absence of dissipative baryonic physics. This implies the existence of a causal relationship between the morphologies of galaxies and that of their host dark matter haloes.

Paper submitted to MNRAS: links to ADS or arXiv
Poster presented at EWASS 2018 is available here
Morphological and kinematical diagnostics have been added to the public EAGLE database
Routines to compute these are available in the following GitHub:

Upcoming gigs

(links in logos for more information)

Past & Current Friends

A few bands I've grooved with

Katumba Katumba, occasionally since May 2017, Liverpool
Galactic Funk Militia Galactic Funk Militia, since March 2016, Liverpool
Chaos par UpperCuite Fanfare Chaos par UpperCuite (a.k.a. CUC), since Sept 2014, Paris
Band'Arnac Band'Arnac, since Jun 2015, Montauban
Gimmick 5 Syndicate Gimmick 5 Syndicate, from Nov 2011 to Sept 2012, Toulouse
Les Trous Balourds Les Trous Balourds (student fanfare of the ENSEEIHT), from Sept 2011 to Sept 2012, Toulouse
The Elephanfare The Elephanfare (formerly known as Telefanfare - student fanfare of Telecom Bretagne), from Sept 2009 to Jan 2013, Brest

Music Bio

Adrien Thob

I've started to learn music at 7 at the Music Conservatory of Chennevières-sur-Marne, France where I followed classical trumpet classes with Emmanuel Martin. Via this conservatory, I had the opportunity to enrich my training with their Harmonic Orchestra - leaded by Jean Christophe Vilain - and multiple Summer Music Course organised by Le Grenier de la Mothe in Bailleul-Neuville, France - with Fabien Norbert as a trumpet mentor. As my father simultaneously started to learn drums, I forged my sense of rythm by teaching myself how to play on his drum set. During my teenage years, I had the opportunity to experiment this volition to enrich my music on a piano my parents acquired. So when I had to temporarily stop the trumpet for medical reasons at 16, I continued the piano at the conservatory with Tra Mi N'Guyen to keep up with music: this developed an interest to chord progressions I didn't have with the trumpet. 5 years later, with this background, I entered my engineering school where I joined the music student association: there with other students through regular jam sessions or via the fanfare, far away from the classical training of the conservatory, I learnt a bit of guitar and bass while improving my practice of instruments I already enjoyed to play. The years that followed saw me traveling repeatedly to multiple location where I played with people of disparat styles, from the bandas of the Basque country, to the folk of Vancouver Island with a little touch of French funk, jazz, and hip hop street music. Today, all these experiences have highly influenced my taste and my style: my music is the result of these events and those people that have rythmed my past musical life. I embrace now the music culture of my last "homeport", Liverpool, where I occasionally play at Open Mic nights, notably at the jazz club Frederiks, and essentially where I joined the Galactic Funk Militia.

Background credits: Picture taken by my friend Vincent Bellec during a hike in the Makhtesh Ramon located in the Negev Desert of Israel.


Adrien Thob

Astrophysics Research Institute
Liverpool Science Park
IC2 Building
146 Brownlow Hill
Liverpool L3 5RF
United Kingdoms

+44 151 231 2923