Skip to main content

The chemical fingerprints of galaxy formation


The new millennium has seen a shift in the priorities facing cosmology, with the physics governing galaxy formation becoming a primary driver for the EU's investment in astronomy RD. One of the pivotal questions of cosmology remains how early-type galaxies formed. Chemical "fingerprinting" of stellar populations is a particularly powerful tool in exploring these questions in that the elemental abundances of dozens of atomic species can be inferred from the spectrum of a galaxy, fingerprints which provide clues to the timescales governing galaxy formation.

Unfortunately the study of the star formation histories through the study of their chemical abundances is still in its infancy. I am seeking the support of a Marie Curie Fellowship, to obtain the requisite training in inter-sectoral computational techniques to adapt a chemical evolution code and a semi-analytical code to analyse a data set of 100 spectra of elliptical galaxies. To do so, I have chosen a host which is emerging, energetic, and affords me access to specialist personnel and infrastructure. The University of Central Lancashire is host to Brad Gibson's research group, providing open access to GEtool, one of the leading codes in the field; UCLan is also a development node for the chemodynamical code GCD+ and the Mitaka Semi-Analytic Code, as well as a partner in SALT.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call



United Kingdom