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Just like you and I the life of a galaxy is fundamentally shaped by where it lives. Galaxies which reside in isolated regions of space, never coming into contact with another system, have a very different life to those with live at the centre of bustling clusters, where interactions are frequent and violent. These varying environments can induce a complex web of influences on the properties of galaxies, shaping how they form new stars, determining the frequency of mergers, triggering Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) activity, and fundamentally altering their morphological and structural characteristics. 

Despite being of paramount importance to our understanding of how all galaxies formed and evolved, until recently our knowledge of how, why and to what degree different environments shape galaxies has been observationally restricted to local Universe (i.e. a single epoch). This means that we know the end point correlations between environment and galaxy evolution, but not thier causation. To explore this further we must look to new state-of-the-art projects and analysis techniques which will open up our ability to trace how galaxies evolve in different environments over billions of years.     

Within our group we are leading a number of next generation multi-wavelength galaxy redshift surveys aimed at exploring the co-evolution of galaxies and environments out into the distant Universe. We also develop new software analysis techniques and methodologies to maximally exploit these data. 

Projects in this area are based around the Deep Extragalactic VIsible Legacy Survey (DEVILS) and 4MOST Wide Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES), but will also combine data from some of the world’s foremost facilities, including JWST, HST, Subaru, and SKA precursors MeerKAT and ASKAP.

Potential Projects

For 2023/2024 we are offering projects in the following areas. However, this is a non-exhaustive list and if you have a different project or research direction that would fit into this area, please contact us to discuss further:

Associated Researchers

Dr Robin Cook

Research Associate

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Professor Luca Cortese

Interim Director, Science (UWA)

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Dr Claudia Lagos

Senior Research Fellow and ASTRO 3D Fellow

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