Read completed his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics at Cambridge University in 2004. After a two-year postdoctoral research position in Cambridge, he moved to the University of Zürich to join the computational science group. In 2009, he joined the University of Leicester as a lecturer in theoretical astrophysics. In October 2010, he was awarded an SNSF assistant professorship at ETH Zürich. In April 2013, he moved to the University of Surrey to set up their new astrophysics program, and in 2018 he became head of the physics department. His main area of research is in gravitational probes of dark matter, studying everything from the tiniest galaxies to giant clusters of galaxies. Read was awarded the 2013 MERAC Prize by the European Astronomical Society for his high-impact research in computational astrophysics and cosmology. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Physiographic Society of Lund.