Alex Pettitt

J-GLOBAL         Last updated: Oct 10, 2018 at 17:22
Alex Pettitt
Hokkaido University
Job title
Assistant Professor
PhD(University of Exeter), MPhys(Durham University)
Twitter ID


My area of research is galactic morphology and its impact on the properties of the interstellar medium. This includes investigating the role of spiral arms, bars and interactions. I specialise in simulating the stars, gas and dark matter in nearby galaxies, aiming to unravel the mysteries of star formation and galactic morphology. Before this I was a post-doc working for Elizabeth Tasker at Hokkaido University, studying different spiral arm generation scenarios. I undertook my PhD studies at the University of Exeter (U.K.) under the supervision of Clare Dobbs. The topic of my thesis was unveiling the structure of our own Galaxy through numerical simulations and synthetic observations. My work utilises numerical hydrodynamics (specifically smoothed particle hydrodynamics), N-body calculations, and radiative transfer.

Research Areas


Published Papers

Molecular gas and Star Formation Properties in Early Stage Mergers: SMA CO(2-1) Observations of the LIRGs NGC 3110 and NGC 232
Espada, D.; Martin, S.; Verley, S.; Pettitt, A. R.; Matsushita, S.; Argudo-Fernandez, M.; Randriamanakoto, Z.; Hsieh, P.-Y.; Saito, T.; Miura, R. E.; Kawana, Y.; Sabater, J.; Verdes-Montenegro, L.; Ho, P. T. P.; Kawabe, R.; Iono, D.
ApJ (accepted)      Dec 2018   [Refereed]
Pettitt, Alex R.; Egusa, Fumi; Dobbs, Clare L.; Tasker, Elizabeth J.; Fujimoto, Yusuke; Habe, Asao
MNRAS   480(3) 3356-3375   Nov 2018   [Refereed]
Dobbs, C. L.; Pettitt, A. R.; Corbelli, E.; Pringle, J. E.
MNRAS   478(3) 3793-3808   Aug 2018   [Refereed]
Price, Daniel J.; Wurster, James; Tricco, Terrence S.; Nixon, Chris; Toupin, Stéven; Pettitt, Alex; Chan, Conrad; Mentiplay, Daniel; Laibe, Guillaume; Glover, Simon; Dobbs, Clare; Nealon, Rebecca; Liptai, David; Worpel, Hauke; Bonnerot, Clément; Dipierro, Giovanni; Ballabio, Giulia; Ragusa, Enrico; Federrath, Christoph; Iaconi, Roberto; Reichardt, Thomas; Forgan, Duncan; Hutchison, Mark; Constantino, Thomas; Ayliffe, Ben; Hirsh, Kieran; Lodato, Giuseppe
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia   35(35) 82   Aug 2018   [Refereed]
Pettitt, Alex R.; Wadsley, J. W.
MNRAS   474 5645   Mar 2018   [Refereed]
Nguyen, Ngan K.; Pettitt, Alex R.; Tasker, Elizabeth J.; Okamoto, Takashi
MNRAS   475(1) 27-42   Jan 2018   [Refereed]
Pettitt, Alex R.; Tasker, Elizabeth J.; Wadsley, James W.; Keller, Ben W.; Benincasa, Samantha M.
MNRAS   468 4189-4204   Jul 2017   [Refereed]
Authors: Schuller, F.; Csengeri, T.; Urquhart, J. S.; Duarte-Cabral, A.; Barnes, P. J.; Giannetti, A.; Hernandez, A. K.; Leurini, S.; Mattern, M.; Medina, S.-N. X.; Agurto, C.; Azagra, F.; Anderson, L. D.; Beltrán, M. T.; Beuther, H.; Bontemps, S.; Bronfman, L.; Dobbs, C. L.; Dumke, M.; Finger, R.; Ginsburg, A.; Gonzalez, E.; Henning, T.; Kauffmann, J.; Mac-Auliffe, F.; Menten, K. M.; Montenegro-Montes, F. M.; Moore, T. J. T.; Muller, E.; Parra, R.; Perez-Beaupuits, J.-P.; Pettitt, A.; Russeil, D.; Sánchez-Monge, Á.; Schilke, P.; Schisano, E.; Suri, S.; Testi, L.; Torstensson, K.; Venegas, P.; Wang, K.; Wienen, M.; Wyrowski, F.; Zavagno, A.
A&A   601(A124)    May 2017   [Refereed]
Alex Pettitt, Elizabeth Tasker, James Wadsley
MNRAS   458 3390-4007   2016   [Refereed]
Clare Dobbs, Daniel Price, Alex Pettitt, Terrence Tricco, Matthew Bate
MNRAS   460 4482-4495   2016   [Refereed]
Gareth Few, Clare Dobbs, Alex Pettitt, Lukas Konstandin
MNRAS   460 4382-4396   2016   [Refereed]
Armed and/or dangerous: the sensitivity of spiral generation in tidal encounters
Alex Pettitt, Elizabeth Tasker, James Wadsley
Proceedings of IAU 315      2015
The Morphology of the Milky Way
Alex Pettitt
University of Exeter      2015
Alex Pettitt, Clare Dobbs, David Acreman, Matthew Bate
MNRAS   449 3911-3926   2015   [Refereed]
P. Tremblin, L. D. Anderson, P. Didelon, A. C. Raga, V. Minier, E. Ntormousi, A. R. Pettitt, M. R. Samal, N. Schneider, A. Zavagno
A&A   568(A4)    2014   [Refereed]
Alex Pettitt, Clare Dobbs, David Acreman, Daniel Price
MNRAS   444 919-941   2014   [Refereed]

Conference Activities & Talks

How well do stars and gas trace Galactic morphology?
Alex Pettitt
The Life and Times of The Milky Way (Shanghai, China)   Nov 2018   
The changing molecular cloud population in galactic interactions
Alex Pettitt
National Astronomy Meeting (Himeji, Japan)   Sep 2018   
The evolution of GMC's in interacting galaxies
Alex Pettitt
From Stars to Galaxies (Sapporo, Japan)   Mar 2018   
The role of Spirals and bars in driving the structure of gas and stars in the Milky Way [Invited]
Alex Pettitt
FUGIN science workshop (Nagoya, Japan)   Feb 2018   
Tidally driven features in galactic interactions
Alex Pettitt
National Astronomy Meeting (Sapporo, Japan)   Sep 2017   

Teaching Experience


Association Memberships