Associate Professor Christoph Federrath

PhD (Heidelberg)
ARC Future Fellow and Stromlo Fellow
College of Science
T: +61 (0)2 6125 0217

Areas of expertise

  • Stellar Astronomy And Planetary Systems 020110
  • Galactic Astronomy 020104
  • Fluid Physics 020303
  • Numerical Solution Of Differential And Integral Equations 010302
  • Numerical Computation 080205

Research interests

  • The physics and chemistry of star-forming gas clouds
  • Star formation in the present-day and early Universe
  • Fluid dynamics, turbulence, magnetic fields
  • Synthetic observations and development of observational methods
  • Numerical methods and computational techniques


Christoph Federrath is Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council, Stromlo Fellow, and Faculty Member at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Australian National University. He previously held postdoctoral fellowships at the Monash Centre for Astrophysics in Melbourne, the Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, and the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Heidelberg. He studied physics at the University of Wuerzburg from 2001 to 2007 and received a Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) from the University of Heidelberg in 2010.

Researcher's projects

Federrath's research focuses on understanding the formation of stars in the Universe. Almost everything we know about the Universe comes from looking at the stars. The formation of stars controls galaxy evolution and sets the initial conditions for planet formation. To advance our understanding of star formation, Federrath develops theoretical models and supercomputer simulations of molecular clouds, the birthplaces of stars. This involves the physics of turbulence, gravity, magnetic fields, radiation, stellar feedback and chemical evolution. An essential part of this work is to compare supercomputer simulations performed on thousands of computer cores to real observations in galactic clouds. The ultimate goal of Federrath's research is to establish a model that combines all the relevant physics and chemistry to enable self-consistent comparisons with observations and to provide powerful predictions for how galaxies, stars and planets form in the Universe.

Research group

We study the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, the interstellar medium and planets. We use a mix of theory, analytics, supercomputer simulations and observations. We also develop new numerical algorithms and observational techniques for star and galaxy formation, turbulence, magneto-hydrodynamic dynamos, and fluid dynamics in general.

Current and former group members.

Available student projects

Research project ideas are listed here. Most of the projects are adjustable to all levels (Undergrad/Honours/Masters/PhD/Postdoc), and most of them are collaborative projects within the research group and/or involving national and/or international collaboration partners. If you are interested in joining our group please contact


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  06 August 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers