My area of interest is the dynamical evolution of stellar systems. I specialise in numerical modelling and theoretical investigation of star clusters and their constituent stars. This includes the dynamical evolution of binary stars and stellar remnants, the impact of star clusters on the Galaxy, or probing the channels of planetary systems formation. My work is often motivated by observational results or aimed to provide constraints to our interpretation of observations.

My recent lectures and talks

Invited lecture at the General Meeting of the Indiana Astronomical Society

Doomsday dynamical scenarios


53rd DDA Meeting

Effects of radially anisotropic velocity distribution on the dynamics of star clusters

We are exploring various aspects of the dynamics of star clusters characterised by a radially anisotropic velocity distribution. In our first study (Pavlik & Vesperini 2021), we used N-body simulations to show that radially anisotropic systems are characterised by more rapid evolution towards energy equipartition than isotropic ones. In the subsequent extension (Pavlik & Vesperini 2022), we explored the development of mass segregation, the evolution of primordial binaries, and the influence of the Galactic tidal field. I will present an overview of our results showing that in the systems with initial radial velocity anisotropy: 1) mass segregation is slower in the inner regions and more rapid in the outer regions, 2) the rate of disruption of primordial binaries is higher, and 3) the rate of binary exchange events is enhanced compared to the isotropic systems and may lead to an increased dynamical formation of binaries including a stellar remnant component.

52nd DDA Meeting

Star cluster evolution towards energy equipartition

The presented work explores the evolution towards energy equipartition in models of star clusters with different initial degrees of velocity anisotropy. Our analysis has revealed several novel dynamical aspects, such as the rate of evolution towards energy equipartition depends on the initial degree of radial velocity anisotropy, and differs for the radial and the tangential components of the velocity dispersion. We have also found that the outermost regions of the initially isotropic system evolve towards a state of 'inverted' energy equipartition, which means that high-mass stars have a larger velocity dispersion than low-mass stars. This is due to the dependence of the tangential velocity dispersion on the stellar mass the radial velocity dispersion shows no anomaly. Finally, we focused on the effects of different strengths of the Galactic tidal field and the role of primordial binaries. Our results shed further light on the link between the clusters' internal kinematics, their formation and evolutionary history, and also add new fundamental elements to the theoretical framework needed to interpret the observational studies of stellar kinematics in globular clusters.

Grants and Funding


2024 – 2027 PI of "ECLIPSE: Exploring Compact stellar remnants and their Impact on Star Clusters Evolution" part of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions -- COFUND, project "MERIT" -- Grant agreement ID 101081195
2016 – 2018 PI of "Perturbed stellar motions in dense star clusters" Grant Agency of Charles University, project GAUK-186216
2013 Trainee of ESAC project "Searching for a 'runaway-mass' black hole in the Orion Nebula Cluster" PIs: M.~Guianazzi, J.~Svoboda, H.~Bouy (declined due to personal reasons)

Computational time

2022 – present PI of "Dynamical evolution of star clusters with anisotropic velocity distributions" Indiana University Information Technology Services CPUs and GPUs, with extended 15 TiB quota
2014 – present Access to the Czech national grid MetaCentrum (MetaVO, Cesnet, e-INFRA) CPUs, 30 TiB quota, used 5 000+ CPU-days yearly evaluation
2014 – 2016 Access to the "KK" computer cluster of the Department of Physics, Charles University, Prague CPUs, 1 TiB quota, used for Bc. thesis