Matthew C. Smith

Astrophysicist;
Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Heidelberg and
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

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Using novel methods to model the interstellar medium, star formation and stellar feedback processes in galactic and cosmological numerical simulations, my research aims to increase our understanding of the mechanisms behind key processes in galaxy formation and how these can help explain observations.

Having developed a new implementation of star formation and stellar feedback for the astrophysical moving-mesh code Arepo, I use parsec (and subparsec) resolution simulations of individual galaxies to study the ability of stellar feedback to regulate galaxy properties and drive galactic winds, as well as the impact of small scale star formation laws on the efficiency of feedback. As a member of the STRUCTURES Cluster of Excellence at the University of Heidelberg, I study galaxy formation during the epoch of reionisation.

Additionally, as an active participant in the SMAUG (Simulating Multiscale Astrophysics to Understand Galaxies) collaboration, I am developing new subgrid models for star formation and galactic winds for use in the next generation of large volume cosmological simulations. These models have their basis in knowledge obtained from high resolution, small scale simulations rather than being tuned to large scale observables.

I obtained my PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2018. I then held a Flatiron Fellowship at the Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute, New York from 2018 - 2019. Following this, I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. Since October 2021 I have taken up a joint position at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy as part of the STRUCTURES Cluster of Excellence.