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Galaxy Formation and Evolution and the role of AGN


We propose a 2 years research project to be carried out at the Institut d' Astrophysique de Paris (IAP) under the supervision of Prof. A. Omont. The ultimate main goal of the project is to investigate the link between galaxy evolution and AGN activity. Recent observations and models suggest that AGN activity occurs during a specific phase of the lifetime of a galaxy. Super-massive black-hole (SMBH) are ubiquitous in the centre of all galaxies, but they are active only for a relatively small fraction of the lifetime of the galaxy. With the proposed project we aim at recording the phases of SMBH growth and vigorous star-bursting activity expected in obscured AGN, and of destruction of the circum-nuclear material and halt of the star-bursting activity in unobscured luminous AGN.

The project exploits the existence of large and moderately deep multi-wavelength data including ground-based optical and near-infrared data, Spitzer infrared data and X-ray data covering wide and contiguous areas of the sky, two SWIRE fields and the COSMOS field. Most of the data from these surveys are either already available to either the applicant or the host institution or will become publicly available during 2006. The data will be used to select large and statistically significant samples of starburst galaxies, AGN and composite sources and estimate their redshift, star-formation rate, stellar mass, absorption, black-hole mass, and contribution of AGN and starburst activity.

The proposed project will allow the applicant to work in a first class institutions for observations and physics of high redshift quasars and starburst galaxies, to learn new skills and techniques in cosmology, galaxy evolution, and to establish international collaborations. The extensive experience o f the applicant with data from the Infrared Space Observatory and the Spitzer and the experience she will gain working on millimetre data will prepare her to pursue a research career in Europe.

Call for proposal

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