I'm Ryan Brennan.

I'm an astronomy Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University studying galaxy evolution and AGN feedback.
I received a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Fordham University in 2011.

Galaxy Evolution

There are many different types of galaxies in the universe and we are beginning to develop tools which allow us to constrain the mechanisms responsible for this diversity. I compare the star formation rates and morphologies of large populations of simulated galaxies from state of the art semi-analytic models to those of observed galaxies, mainly observed as part of the CANDELS survey. In this way we test our model prescriptions for bulge growth due to galaxy mergers and disk instabilities and quenching due to AGN feedback.

AGN-Driven Winds

I also study the direct effect that AGN feedback can have on the surrounding galaxy by examining the gas cycling due to AGN-driven winds in hydrodynamical simulations. These winds can be extremely powerful, driving most of a galaxy's gas away. Using simulations, we can see what fraction of gas it lost, what fraction will ever return to the galaxy, and what happens to it when it does.


Teaching two courses at Rutgers has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my graduate career. Teaching Extended Analytical Physics has shown me the importance of Physics Education Research and the value of data-driven instruction. The experience of teaching a very diverse student body with a wide spectrum of backgrounds and skill levels was a challenge that greatly strengthened my abilities as an instructor.

Other Interests

In my free time I enjoy reading, playing guitar and watching TV. To the left, you can see me standing in front of Walter White's house from Breaking Bad. If you haven't seen Breaking Bad, you should go watch it now. I'll wait. You should also do that if you haven't seen Fargo, Justified, Lost, or The Shield. I've got more where that came from if you're looking for a new show. I'm also great at recognizing character actors in bit parts.


I can be reached by email at brennan at physics.rutgers.edu. I can also be found during the week in Serin 332W on Rutgers Busch Campus.