About Me



Contact information

Mailing address: SOE2, Baskin School of Engineering, UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, CA-95064 Santa Cruz.

Office: Baskin Engineering room 353A

Telephone: 831-459-1055. Fax: 831-459-4829

Email: pgaraud at soe dot ucsc dot edu



Present occupation

I am a Full Professor in the department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at the Baskin Shool of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. My main research interests are in fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics applied to astrophysics and occasionally geophysics. I specialize in semi-analytical work, using a combination of "pen-and-paper" calculations with moderate-size numerical computations. I also collaborate with researchers specialized in high-performance computing of fluid dynamical phenomena and help in the interpretation of the numerical results. I am a member of the Fluid Dynamics Group of UCSC, and of the Theoretical Astrophysics at Santa Cruz (TASC) research unit.


My main research interests at the moment are:

  • Large-scale magnetohydrodynamics of the solar interior
  • Modeling large-scale flows in stellar interior
  • Modeling turbulent convection
  • Understanding the properties of fingering convection, with applications to oceanography and astrophysics
  • Understanding the properties of double-diffusive convection, with applications to astrophysics
  • Modeling the dynamics of dust particles in proto-stellar disks

See my research page for detail.


I teach a number of classes in Applied Mathematics from the introductory undergraduate level to the advanced graduate level. See the "Teaching" section of my web-site. This year (2013-2014), I will be teaching:

  • Fall quarter: AMS227: Waves and Instabilities in Fluids.
  • Spring quarter: AMS 212B, Applied Mathematical Methods II: Asymptotic methods
  • Spring quarter: AMS 213, Numerical methods for differential equations

In addition, I alternate teaching the graduate seminar class on Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics (AMS 280C) with Nic Brummell.

Graduate students & Postdoctoral Researchers

I currently have two MS students (plus one visiting from France), 4 graduate students and one postdoctoral researcher :

  • Corentin Cadiou (MS student in Paris) on "Mixing in Red Giants"
  • Michael Medrano (MS student in Physics) on "The emergence of large-scale structures in fingering convection
  • Nicole Meyer (MS student in Applied Mathematics) on "Numerical simulations of shear instabilities at low Prandtl number
  • Aya Furutani (2nd year AMS graduate student) on "Shear instabilities in stellar astrophysics"
  • Lydia Korre (1st year AMS graduate student) on "The solar tachocline"
  • Ryan Moll (3rd year AMS graduate student) on "Diffusive convection"
  • Justin Brown (3rd year Astro graduate student, partly advised with Stan Woosley) on "Fingering convection"
  • Kevin Moore (postdoctoral researcher) on various aspects of Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics and stellar evolution

I am currently looking to hire one or two graduate students starting in the Fall 2014. Please see the information for prospective graduate students for more detail. If you are a postdoctoral researcher with your own funding, and interested in working with me PLEASE call anytime!

Current administrative & synergestic positions

  • I am on the scientific advisory board of the Next-Generation Science Institute (NEXSI), a brand-new institute bringing theory to bear on the design of next-generation telescopes and instrumentation.




I completed my undergraduate studies in Mathematics and Physics at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, in 1996. I then decided to study abroad for a year and was awarded a Knox Scholarship by Trinity College to take part in the gruelling Part III of the Mathematical Tripos in Cambridge (UK).

I chose to stay in Cambridge for my PhD, and was awarded an Isaac Newton Studentship to study "The dynamics of the solar tachocline" with Prof. D. O. Gough (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge) and Prof. N. O. Weiss (Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge). I completed my PhD in 2001, and stayed in Cambridge for my post-doc for another 4 years, funded by fellowships from New Hall (now Murray-Edwards college) and the Particle Physics and Astrophysics Research Council (PPARC). During my PPARC fellowship I had the opportunity to apply for a position at UCSC, and was delighted to be offered the job.




I am currently funded by a number of National Science Foundation grants:

  • NSF 0847477: CAREER: Evolution of magnetized stars. PI: P. Garaud. Dates: 08/01/2009 - 07/31/2014
  • NSF 0933759: COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Fingering convection at low Prandtl number. PI: P. Garaud. Dates: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2012
  • NSF 1211394 Thermocompositional convection in the interior of giant planets PI: P. Garaud. Dates: 09/01/12 - 08/31/15