Robert J J Grand

Welcome to my website. I am a theoretical astrophysicist at the Canaries Institute for Astrophysics (IAC), located in Tenerife. This website contains basic information about my research, CV, and contact information.

My interests include galaxy formation and evolution, cosmology, and Galactic archaeology & dynamics. My principal research tools are numerical simulations, which I use to confront observations using various forward modelling techniques.


Professional Appointments

  • 2021-: Severo Ochoa Advanced Fellow
    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Tenerife
  • 2018-2021: Independent postdoc Fellow
    Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
  • 2014-2018: Postdoctoral researcher
    Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical physics


  • 2014: PhD in Astrophysics
    Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK
  • 2010: Masters & Bachelors of Physics with Astrophysics (European)
    University of Leeds, UK

Research Summary

My research focusses on galaxy formation and evolution, particularly on large spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. I employ numerical simulations, both idealised/isolated and cosmological, to study many aspects of this subjects, including:

  • galactic dynamics: both internal (spiral arms, bars) and external (mergers, flybys) processes, and how they shape galactic structure;
  • galactic archaeology: constraining galaxy evolution from identifying chemo-dynamical features in galactic stellar populations;
  • galaxy formation: the study of feedback and matter accretion using magnetohydrodynamic cosmological simulations;
  • dark matter & cosmology: predictions for the low-mass dark matter substructures in and around large galaxies;
  • synthetic observations: connecting simulations with observations using sophisticated forward-modelling techniques for both the Milky Way and beyond

Please visit the Research page to read about specific projects.