Prof Adrian J. Barker

Prof Adrian J. Barker


I am a Professor of Applied Mathematics. I was previously an Associate Professor (2019-2023) and a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics (from 2016-2019). Before then, I was a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Associate at DAMTP, University of Cambridge (2013-2016) and a CIERA Research Fellow at CIERA, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Northwestern University, USA (2011-2013). I did my PhD at DAMTP, University of Cambridge (2007-2011).


  • Director of Postgraduate Studies for Applied Mathematics

Research interests

My primary research interests are in Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics related to the formation and evolution of extrasolar planetary systems, particularly to tidal interactions between planets and stars, the dynamics of astrophysical discs (such as those around young stars within which planets are believed to form), in addition to waves, instabilities and turbulence in stellar and planetary interiors (for example turbulent convection influenced by rotation and shear, angular momentum transport in stellar interiors).

Further information about my research can be found on the AGFD group webpage.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these areas, please see the following press articles, interviews and online talks:
1) AAS Nova article about one of my recent journal articles on how tidal dissipation in stars can explain stellar binary circularisation periods
2) Faculti general audience interview about tidal dissipation in stars and predictions for planetary orbital decay
3) PLATO Mission Conference 2021 talk about tidal dissipation in stars and predictions for planetary orbital decay
4) KITP talk about hydrodynamical instabilities of differential rotation in stars
5) Online Turbulence Seminar about the properties of rotating turbulent convection in stars and planets

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Theoretical Astrophysics, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • MPhys Theoretical Physics, University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society
  • Member of the International Astronomical Union
  • Member of the European Astronomical Society

Research groups and institutes

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Astrophysical and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>
    <li><a href="//">Hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in stellar and planetary interiors</a></li> <li><a href="//">Tidal flows in extrasolar planets and stars</a></li>