Theory and Simulation of Soft Matter, Hydrodynamics, and Biophysics Joost de Graaf

Researcher Profile Joost de Graaf

Currently, I hold an assistant-professor position at the Insitute for Theoretical Physics of Utrecht University. Here, I lead a small group that considers complex fluids and the effect of such heterogeneous environments on the behavior of colloidal active matter. We also consider various biophysical systems, including tissues and bacterial biofilms/colonies, using analytic theory and numerical methods.

I was previously employed as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow in the group of Prof. Dr. Davide Marenduzzo at the University of Edinburgh. There, I worked on understanding the mechanism of self-propulsion of chemically propelled swimmers. At that time, I also worked with Prof. Dr. Wilson Poon on the behavior of colloidal gels when incorporating hydrodynamic interactions. I have fond memories of the Edinburgh environment, which is scientifically exceptional.

Prior to that, I was a group leader and NWO Rubicon postdoctoral researcher in the Institute for Computational Physics lead by Prof. Dr. Christian Holm at the University of Stuttgart. There, my students and I developed lattice-Boltzmann methods for simulating active, self-propelled particles and electrokinetic phenomena.

I started my research career at Utrecht University, where I obtained my PhD in the group of Prof. Dr. M. Dijkstra. My PhD Thesis touched upon predicting crystal structures for faceted and shape-anisotropic particles, the adsorption of such particles to liquid-liquid interfaces, electrostatic screening of Janus particles, and the self-assembly of octapod-shaped nanocrystals. My earliest research was performed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. R. van Roij, with whom I investigated the charging of oil-in-water droplets and the isotropic-nematic phase transition of liquid crystals in an external dipolar field.

For full details, please refer to my CV.

Hydrodynamics and Friction for Colloidal Gelation Kim William Torre

William is funded by a NWO Klein (currently M1) grant and falls under my direct supervision. He is developing a frictional model for interaction between attractive colloids that accounts for rotational and translational immobilization via friction. William is also studying continuum models for colloidal gelation and gel collapse.

Antibiotic Resistance Bacterial Colonies Bryan Verhoef

Bryan is a PhD student who is funded through the Science for Sustainability initiative at Utrecht University, he is shared between the group of Rutger Hermsen (Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics) and my own (Insitute for Theoretical Physics). Bryan is developing models for growing and interacting bacterial colonies with a specific focus antimicrobial resistance and spatial heterogeneity.

Agent and Mesh-Based Models for Tissues Hossein Nemati

Hossein falls under my direct supervision and was appointed on a departmental PhD position. He is developing models for the dynamics in confluent tissues, focusing specifically on the impact of life, death, and cell cycles on the structural properties of these systems.

Group Members and Students Current

  1. M. Toos, PhD Guest (Iran)
  2. P. Michels, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  3. T. Womack, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  4. M. van Schaik, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  5. I. Degroote, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)


  1. M. Bos, PhD Candidate (Utrecht)
  2. E. Stijl, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  3. B. Verhoef, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  4. V. van Zwieten, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  5. K. Sjöstedt, Project Student (Utrecht)
  6. J. Roberts, PhD Candidate (Utrecht)
  7. F. Gaeremynck, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  8. H. Leeuwis, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  9. M. van Leeuwen, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  10. M. Brouwer, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  11. T. Schouten, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  12. J. Roberts, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  13. B. Stam, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  14. M. Palusa, PhD Student (Edinburgh)
  15. R. Meijer, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  16. R. Hardeman, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  17. T. ter Rele, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  18. C. Wiggers, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  19. B. van den Bosch, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  20. C. Perugachi Israëls, B.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  21. C. Abaurrea-Velasco, Postdoc (Utrecht)
  22. M. Inês Cravo, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  23. C. Stewart, M.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  24. P. Stärk, B.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  25. T. Welling, PhD Candidate (Utrecht)
  26. M. Haughey, S.H. Student (Edinburgh)
  27. M. Kuron, PhD Candidate (Stuttgart)
  28. H. Menke, Student Assistant (Stuttgart)
  29. R. Pruciak, S.H. Student (Edinburgh)
  30. B. Droste, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)
  31. P. Kreissl, M.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  32. S. Ehrhardt, M.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  33. M. Kuron, M.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  34. S. Ilse, B.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  35. F. Schultz, B.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  36. M. Fabritius, Project Student (Stuttgart)
  37. G. Rempfer, PhD Candidate (Stuttgart)
  38. L. Fischer, B.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  39. T. Peter, B.Sc. Student (Stuttgart)
  40. E. Hildebrandt, M.Sc. Student (Utrecht)