GALAXY EVOLUTION

 

I am an observational astrophysicist interested in understanding galaxy evolution.  Galaxies are the main building blocks of the Universe and can be broadly divided into disks, spheroids and irregulars.  My main research goal is to piece together the physics that determined the formation and assembly of disk galaxies.  I am carrying out my research in three tiers, roughly divided by the different phases of disk evolution. 


First, I study the gaseous infantile galaxy disks at look back times of ~7—10 Gyr using primarily millimeter/sub-millimeter data to trace the evolution of the gas mass and kinematics and their relationship to the initial build up of stars. 


Second, as the disks evolve, I study their adolescent phase between look-back times of 0—7 Gyr using stellar bars – these serve as excellent signposts of the maturity of the galactic disk. 


Third, I study the present-day galaxies by quantifying the mass distribution and properties of their main stellar structures (disks, bulges, bars) – these are the end points of evolution, which all cosmological models must reproduce.  


Finally to understand the continuing evolution of disks, I am also studying the interplay of the molecular gas environment and its associated star formation activity in dynamically distinct galaxy environments (nuclei, rings, bars, spiral arms) to ascertain what controls, triggers or inhibits star formation.  Together these research efforts provide useful constraints on the complex processes involved in galaxy evolution.


Click on the links to the right for more information on each of htese three topics.


I have also worked on a variety of other topics.  My full publication list can be accessed at this page or via this ADS link.

Links below for more details