Dr. Victor P. Debattista

Dr. Victor P. Debattista

Professor of Astrophysics

School of Physical Sciences and Computing

Leighton Building, LE307

+44 (0) 1772 89 3568


Subject Areas: Theoretical galaxy dynamics and evolution

Victor leads the Galaxy Dynamics Group, which studies the formation and evolution of galaxies on scales spanning the range from nuclei to bulges, discs and on to their dark matter halos. His research uses state-of-the-art supercomputer simulations and modelling techniques. Victor is a full member of the LSST collaboration and co-leading the Milky Way bulge sub-group. He is also interested in the comparison of simulations with observations, including using Hubble Space Telescope data.

Victor is research active within the area of astrophysics and is a member of the Extragalactic Astrophysics Research Group.

Full Profile

Victor's research uses simulations to study how disc galaxies form and evolve. His research interests are organised around three themes: (1) nuclei, bulges and their scaling relations (2) stellar migration in discs and (3) the interaction of baryons and dark matter halos. In all these efforts, a key target is the Milky Way Galaxy, which is the main target of the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite. Victor primarily use the N-body+SPH code GASOLINE. He has also developed a made-to-measure code for the dynamical modelling of the Milky Way’s bar and bulge.

Professor of Astrophysics, 2017- Present
Reader in Astrophysics, 2012-2017
RCUK Fellow, University of Central Lancashire, 2007-2012
Brooks Prize Fellow, University of Washington, 2004-2007
Postdoctoral Researcher, ETH Zurich, 2002-2004
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Basel, 1998-2002
Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, 1998




Separation of stellar populations by an evolving bar: implications for the bulge of the Milky Way

The frequency and stellar-mass dependence of boxy/peanut-shaped bulges in barred galaxies

Imprints of radial migration on the milky way’s metallicity distribution functions

Debattista, Victor P, Kazantzidis, Stelios and van den Bosch, Frank C. (2013) DISK ASSEMBLY AND THEMBH-σeRELATION OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES. The Astrophysical Journal, 765 (1). pp. 1-15. ISSN 0004-637X

Valluri, Monica, Debattista, Victor P, Quinn, Thomas R., Roškar, Rok and Wadsley, James (2011) Probing the shape and history of the Milky Way halo with orbital spectral analysis. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 419 (3). pp. 1951-1969. ISSN 00358711

More publications



PhD in Physics and Astronomy from Rutgers University, 1998

BA (magna cum laude) in Physics & Computer Science from New York University

External Activities

RCUK fellow

Brooks Prize Fellow, University of Washington 2004-2007

Member LSST collaboration

Co-chair - "Hunting for the dark: the hidden side of galaxy formation" conference held in Malta, October 2009

Co-chair-"Tumbling, twisting and winding galaxies: pattern speeds along the Hubble sequence" workshop held in Padova, August 2008


Member of the American Astronomical Society

Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society


Galaxy Dynamics

Projects: Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

Scientific Computing; The Milky Way; Galaxies Beyond the Milky Way


“Tumbling, Twisting and Winding Galaxies: Pattern Speeds Across the Hubble Sequence”, Padova, Italy, 2008

“Hunting for the Dark: The Hidden Side of Galaxy Formation”, Qawra, Malta, 2009

“Stars Without Borders: Radial Migration in Spiral Galaxies”, Medana, Slovenia, 2012

“Nuclear Clusters in Galaxies, and the Role of the Environment”, Leiden, the Netherlands, 2014.