Dr Sophie Koudmani

Junior Research Fellow
Subject: Natural Sciences
Computational astrophysics; galaxy formation and evolution, dwarf galaxies; astrophysical black holes, accretion discs
Bowring Junior Research Fellow in Astronomy

Dr Sophie Koudmani is the Bowring Junior Research Fellow at St Catharine’s College. Her research aims to unravel the physical processes governing galaxy formation, especially the interface between galaxies and their supermassive black holes. To this end, she develops new galaxy formation models and performs massively-parallel hydrodynamical simulations of individual galaxies as well as representative regions of the Universe on high-performance computing clusters.

She obtained a first-class Master’s degree in Physics (MPhys) from New College, University of Oxford. Subsequently, she completed a PhD at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, as a student at Churchill College, where she pioneered the theoretical modelling of black holes in dwarf galaxies.

Sophie’s current research focus is to build novel physical models of black hole evolution (including black hole formation, growth, and feedback) for next-generation galaxy formation simulations, which take advantage of the superior resolution and model the gas-physical processes around the black hole in much more detail. The future of this field is very exciting because of upcoming state-of-the-art gravitational-wave and electromagnetic observational programmes, which Sophie plans to harness to constrain different theoretical black hole models – with the ultimate aim of determining what shapes the build-up of galaxies and their supermassive black holes.

S. Koudmani, R. S. Somerville, D. Sijacki, M. A. Bourne, Y. Jiang and K. Profit. "A unified accretion disc model for supermassive black holes in galaxy formation simulations: method and implementation". Submitted to Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Preprint arXiv:2312.08428.

S. Koudmani, D. Sijacki and M. C. Smith. "Two can play at that game: constraining the role of supernova and AGN feedback in dwarf galaxies with cosmological zoom-in simulations". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2022, 516 (2): 2112-2141)S. Koudmani, N. A. Henden and D. Sijacki. “A little FABLE: exploring AGN feedback in dwarf galaxies with cosmological simulations”. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021, 503 (3): 3568-3591).

S. Koudmani, D. Sijacki, M. A. Bourne and M. C. Smith. “Fast and energetic AGN-driven outflows in simulated dwarf galaxies”. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019, 484 (2): 2047-2066).

Flatiron Research Fellowship, 2022 (Simons Foundation); Paul Murdin Prize, 2019 (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge); Undergraduate Research Bursary, 2016 (Royal Astronomical Society); Scholarship Prize, 2015–2017 (New College, Oxford)