Prof Richard Alexander

Professorrda of Theoretical Astrophysics

MPhys (Edinburgh), PhD (Cambridge)

Tel: +44 (0) 116 252 3543


Office: Room G44B, Physics & Astronomy

Personal website:

Personal details

Originally from Fife, Scotland, I studied for my MPhys (Astrophysics) degree at the University of Edinburgh, before moving to the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge for my PhD. I then spent two years as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Colorado (USA) and two and a half years as a research fellow at Leiden Observatory (the Netherlands), before joining the Department as a Lecturer in 2009. I held a Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Advanced Fellowship from 2009-15, and in 2013 was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize by the Leverhulme Trust. I was promoted to Reader in 2015, and to Professor in 2019; I currently hold an European Research Council Consolidator Grant. A full CV is available at my personal website.


My research looks at how planets form in discs around young stars like our Sun, how stars form, and how super-massive black holes grow. Most of my work involves building theoretical and numerical models of these systems, in order to try and understand how they behave and evolve. Consequently I'm a frequent user of various supercomputers, notably the ALICE and DiRAC machines here in Leicester. For a more detailed description, please see my the research page on my personal website.




  1. The dispersal of protoplanetary disks, R.Alexander, I.Pascucci, S.Andrews, P.Armitage & L.Cieza, in Protostars & Planets VI, eds. H.Beuther, C.Dullemond, Th.Henning & R.Klessen, University of Arizona Press, p475-496 (2014).
  2. A limit on eccentricity growth from global 3-D simulations of disc-planet interactions, A.C.Dunhill, R.D.Alexander & P.J.Armitage, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol 428, p3072-3082 (2013).
  3. Giant planet migration, disk evolution, and the origin of transitional disks, R.D.Alexander & P.J.Armitage, The Astrophysical Journal, vol 704, p989-1001 (2009).
  4. Massive black hole binary mergers within sub-pc scale gas discs, J.Cuadra, P.J.Armitage, R.D.Alexander & M.C.Begelman, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol 393, p1423-1432 (2009).
  5. [NeII] emission line profiles from photoevaporative disc winds , R.D.Alexander, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Letters), vol 391, L68-L68 (2008).

A full publication list is available here. A more detailed list, with links to electronic journal articles and preprints, is available on my personal website.


Personal website

Full list of my publications on NASA ADS

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