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 359C

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

Email: pgaraud at soe dot ucsc dot edu



Present occupation

I am the Chair of the department of Applied Mathematics at the Baskin Shool of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. My research focuses on fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics applied to astrophysics and occasionally geophysics. I specialize in understanding and quantifying mixing processes produced by large-scale fluid flows and magnetic fields, as well as small-scale turbulence. My work involves a range of applied mathematical tools from numerical experimentation using high-performance computing to pen-and-paper analytical derivations. I am a member of the Fluid Dynamics Group of UCSC, and of the Theoretical Astrophysics at Santa Cruz (TASC) research unit. I am also on the Faculty of the GFD Summer Program (WHOI), and the founding director of the Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics. I have recently joined the Editorial Board of Physical Review Fluids. I became a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2019.


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
  • Modeling shear instabilities
  • 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 (2023-2024), I will be teaching:

  • Fall: no classes
  • Winter: AM 227 (Waves, instabilities and turbulence) and AM 170A (Mathematical modeling 1)
  • Spring: none

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

Graduate students & Postdoctoral Researchers

I am currently working with 2 graduate students:

  • Arstanbek Tulekeyev (3rd year AM graduate student) on semiconvection and applications to stars and planets
  • Dante Buhl (SciCAM MS student) on rotating stratified turbulence in stars

Please see the information for prospective graduate students if you are a propective graduate student interested in working with me. If you are a postdoctoral researcher with your own funding, and interested in working with me PLEASE call anytime!

Graduate students & Postdoc alumni

Here is the list of all the students and postdocs I worked with, and where they are now (as far as I know).

  • Postdocs
    • Adrian Fraser : Postdoctoral fellow at CU Boulder. Postoc 2020-2022
    • Kevin Moore : Senior Data Scientist, Salesforce. Postdoc 2013-2015.
    • Toby Wood : Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, Newcastle U. Postdoc 2010-2012
  • PhD students
    • Anuj Kumar . PhD 2023. Visiting Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley.
    • Sara Nasab : PhD 2021. Senior systems engineer at JHU Applied Physics Laboratory.
    • Lydia Korre : Hale Fellow at CU Boulder (Fall 2018). PhD 2018
    • Ryan Moll: Research engineer at Matrix Research, Dayton, OH. PhD 2017
    • Justin Brown : Postdoc at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. PhD 2016
    • Luis Acevedo-Arreguin : Adjunct Faculty, Mathematics, Monterey Peninsula College. PhD 2012.
    • Adrienne Traxler : Associate Professor at Wright State University (Dayton, OH). PhD 2011.
  • MS Students
    • Sam Reifensetin AM MS 2023
    • Eonho Chang , PhD student at the University of Arizona, SciCAM MS 2019
    • Peter Harrington, HPC/Machine Learning Engineer at LLBL. SciCAM MS 2018
    • Jayashree Sridhar, AM MS 2018
    • Sutirtha Sengupta, AM MS 2017
    • Christina Findley, AM MS 2016
    • JoFawna Reali . Professor of Mathematics, Merced College. AM MS 2015
    • Aya Furutani. AM MS 2015
    • Michael Medrano. Software Engineer, Concept Overdrive. Physics MS 2014
    • Nicole Beyer . Manager, Looker. MS 2014

Current administrative & synergestic positions

  • I am the chair of the Applied Mathematics department at UCSC
  • I am the director of the Next Gen. Scholars in Applied Mathematics program, funded by an NSF S-STEM award
  • I am the founding director of the Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics (formerly ISIMA), a novel multi-disciplinary graduate training and research program, based in Santa Cruz.
  • I am on the faculty of the Woods Hole Summer Program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, after which ISIMA was designed.
  • I am on the editorial board of Physical Review Fluid, and an Associate Editor for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics




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.

Since arriving at UCSC in 2004, I was awarded an NSF CAREER grant to study the evolution of magnetized stars. I was tenured in 2010, and became a Full Professor in 2012. See my Publication Page for a list of my papers.




My research is currently funded by NSF grants:

  • NSF AST-1908338: Magnetized Double-diffusive Convection in Stars. PI: P. Garaud. Dates: 09/01/19-08/31/24