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Postgraduate research project

Unveiling the origin of quenching in galaxies via cutting-edge cosmological data-driven models

Competition funded
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Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree
(View full entry requirements)
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Galaxies in the local Universe appear with a variety of morphologies from discs to massive spheroids (ellipticals). The origin of bulged galaxies is still a matter of debate, but even more intriguing is the question “why do some galaxies stop forming stars”?. This project aims at probing the formation and evolution of bulged galaxies and then to move on dissecting the origin of the halting of star formation in galaxies. A variety of models have been put forward in the literature to explain the origin of galaxies “quenching”, from the mass of the host dark matter halo, the mass of the central bulge, the structure of the galaxy, and last but not least the effect of the feedback from a central supermassive black hole.

In this project, we will explore in a comprehensive fashion all possible routes to quench galaxies by making use of cutting-edge data-driven models which make use of sub-halo abundance matching and halo occupation distribution techniques and as such are characterised by a lower number of free parameters then more traditional approaches. 

The main objectives of this project are to:

  • Analyse, in a cosmological context, an array of key physical processes to form and evolve bulged galaxies, such as mergers, bar/disc instabilities, disc regrowth, clumpy accretion, morphological and/or halo and/or environmental quenching. Several of the latter physical processes are still nearly unexplored in this context.
  • Compare the outputs of each different model with the statistical, spectral, morphological, structural, and environmental properties of bulged galaxies.

We will make extensive use of new, unique, and comprehensive data sets available to our group from, e.g., SDSS and COSMOS, specifically catalogued for bulged galaxies in different environments and redshifts.

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