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Final Report Summary - SELGIFS (Study of Emission Line Galaxies with Integral Field Spectroscopy)

Fig. 1 Logo

SELGIFS aims to strengthen research collaboration through staff exchanges and networking activities between international institutions which are leaders in the field of Integral Field Spectroscopy from countries with which the European Union has an Science & Technology agreement.

The main driver of SELGIFS is the development of new methodologies that enable the scientific exploitation of Integral-Field Spectroscopy (IFS), a relatively new technique that allows to obtain spectra of extended sources as a function of position. This technique has flourished in large-aperture, high-resolution telescopes, and many integral-field spectrographs have been developed in the past few years or are planned for the future. However, we soon recognised that this rapid development on the instrumental side must be accompanied by the corresponding development in specific analysis methodologies, regarding both the data analysis itself as well as the theoretical modelling and physical interpretation.

Therefore, the main objectives of the SELGIFS project were defined as the establishment of a long-lasting partnership that facilitated the interaction between theorists, observers, and instrument developers in order to build the required tools in time to take full advantage of the IFS data to come in the next years. SELGIFS aimed to join efforts to design the methodologies necessary to pass from traditional spectroscopy to bidimensional spectroscopy in the study of emission-line galaxies.

Fig. 2a Traditional spectroscopy
Fig. 2b Two-dimensional spectroscopy

SELGIFS was organised around four main scientific cases that provided the basis for the training of 4 early-stage researchers through the realisation of PhD theses. Three PhD theses have been defended successfully at the UAM, the Univesrsity of Porto, and the university of Potsdam. Two more are to be submitted during the coming 6 months at the UAM and the INAOE.

In addition, this training was supported by the organisation of two advanced schools, open to young researchers from outside the collaboration and imparted by internationally-recognised experts (including members of our team). The first one – The Guillermo Haro 2014: Advanced School on Integral Field Spectroscopy Techniques and Analysis – took place at the INAOE (México) from 2014 August 15 to September 5. It included formal lectures on the most recent results and the contribution of IFS techniques to specific areas, as well as practical, hands-on tutorial sessions covering the main aspects of IFS data analysis and interpretation, based on real science cases. The number of participants amounted to 58 from more than 12 different nationalities and the lectures were imparted by 13 specialised professors. Co-funding for this activity was secured from the Guillermo Haro School and the Academic Board of INAOE.

Fig. 3a School 1
Fig. 3b School 2

The second one – Second SELGIFS Advanced School on Integral Field Spectroscopy Data Analysis – took place at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid from 2016 November 21 to 25. It was open to students, early-stage, and experienced researchers interested in this field. At variance with most such events, the scope of the school was heavily science-oriented, consisting of a relatively small number of lectures describing the data, tools, and also specific science cases that were not meant to be merely academic exercises, but representative of the actual scientific work of the collaboration. All of them had a leading researcher, who was responsible for their successful completion. The school was attended by 22 students from Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Germany, and France, and it counted with the expertise of 22 teachers from a large variety of countries from Europe, USA, and Australia.

Outrreach activities have also been an important issue inside this project as it provides a very effective link between the scientific community and society. Some of these activities have been:

(a) I Jornadas de Astronomía en la UAM, Madrid, 15 – 16/07/2016
(b) II Jornadas de Astronomía en la UAM UAM, Madrid, 04/2017
(c) Open Nights at the UAM Observatory

The main scientific results are summarised in more than 26 publications, with specific acknowledgement to this project, in specialised highly ranked journals. These results have been presented in about a dozen scientific conferences, and the scientific cases developed have given rise to 5 PhD theses. In fact, the new methodologies that have been developed have already had a significant impact on the astronomical community, leading to a good number of publications (about 100) and activities that extend beyond the original scope of the proposal.

However, we consider that the main result of this project is that the international collaboration network of the Participants has greatly expanded thanks to this exchange programme, both through direct interaction as well as through the research output. Several members of the collaboration are now in the leading teams of many of the main integral-field spectroscopic surveys of nearby emission-line galaxies planned for the next decade in both hemispheres. We therefore consider that, all in all, the project has fully achieved its objectives and technical goals.

The project website ( contains information about the project Beneficiaries and Partners as well as all the information about the different activities carried out by the collaboration.

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