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Black hole growth fuelled by counter-rotating gas


Supermassive black holes are ubiquitous in the centres of galaxies. They remain largely invisible to our probes, except during their active phases (AGN), when gas is accreted onto the black hole. The energy output of AGN is thought to be able to regulate the growth of galaxies and supermassive black holes. However, we still do not understand how gas is transported to fuel the AGN. One of the outstanding challenges in galaxy evolution is to uncover what physical conditions in the host galaxy trigger or halt the black hole feeding process. In this Global Fellowship project I will make significant advances to solve the problem of AGN fuelling with an innovative approach. I propose to use counter-rotating structures in galaxies to determine: 1) how gas is transported, and 2) if counter-rotation itself promotes the flow of gas to the black hole. Counter-rotation is an unambiguous dynamical tracer that will allow me to unveil for the first time the path of gas from the large scale of the galaxy to the central black hole, thereby determining what physical mechanisms transport gas. I will carry out the project at two world renowned institutions: the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Copenhagen. During the fellowship I will acquire broad skills on photometry analysis and comparison samples to combine with my current expertise on state-of-the-art data analysis and dynamical models to reach the science goals of the project. I will receive additional training on proposal and grant application writing to enhance my career opportunities at the end of the fellowship. On the incoming phase I will bring my acquired expertise and access to a network of international collaborators to Europe, which is important for European institutes to maximise their returns from cutting-edge facilities and instruments with focus on black holes, such as the Event Horizon Telescope and GRAVITY.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/physical cosmology/galaxy formation and evolution
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/astrophysics/black hole
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data analysis

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships


Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 268 921,92

Partners (1)

United States
Franklin Street 1111, 12 Floor
94607 Oakland Ca
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments