Skip to Content

Colloquia Series

For more information on colloquia at the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing please contact Dr. Simon Stevenson and Dr. Stefan Osłowski ()

Swinburne Virtual Reality Theatre
AR Building, Room 104
  2020    2019    2018    2017    2016    2015    2014    2013    2012    2011    2010    2009    2008    2007    2006    2005    2004    2003    2002    2001    2000   

2019 Colloquia

Thursday Dec 12, 10:30
Thomas Venville (Swinburne)
Colloquium: Identifying variable sources in colour space with self organizing maps
The advent of several large photometric and imaging surveys, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Survey and the Euclid and WFIRST missions, in addition to existing high-volume surveys, is producing astronomical data at an unprecedented rate. The efficient and insightful processing of this data is paramount to maximize the scientific value of these programs, however the data rate is such that human classification is infeasible. Furthermore, for next generation surveys producing robust training sets for supervised machine learning will be difficult given the unprecedented capabilities of these surveys. In this talk I present a method utilizing an unsupervised machine learning technique to detect astrophysical transients and variable sources in mean photometric color data.
Friday Dec 6, 10:30
Chiaki Kobayashi (University of Hertfordshire)
Colloquium: Extra-galactic archaeology - studying galaxy formation from their metallicity and elemental abundance distributions
Stars are fossils that retain the history of their host galaxies. At the end of their lives, some explode as supernovae, producing heavy elements that are distributed into the surrounding interstellar gas. New stars that are created from this gas contain the elements that were produced from the previous generations of stars. From the spatial distribution of elements, it is therefore possible to constrain the star formation and chemical enrichment histories of the galaxies. This approach, Galactic Archaeology, has been popularly used for our Milky Way Galaxy. It can also be applied to external galaxies thanks to the recent and future observations with integral field units such as SAMI, MUSE, and JWST/NIRSpec. My team has been running hydrodynamical simulations from cosmological initial conditions including detailed chemical enrichment. I will show how well our model reproduces the elemental abundances in the Milky Way, and will propose a new way to constrain the formation timescale of disk galaxies from their CNO abundances for the era of JWST. I will also show how the radial distribution of elements depends on the merging history of galaxies and on their environment, and predict a map of metal flow around galaxies to/from circum- and inter-galactic medium.
Thursday Dec 5, 11:30
Pravir Kumar (Swinburne)
Student Review: Pravir Kumar Review
Pravir Kumar's Confirmation of Candidature review.
Tuesday Nov 26, 15:00
Jonah Gannon (Swinburne University)
Student Review: CoC for Jonah Gannon
CoC review
Tuesday Nov 26, 10:30
Adam Batten (Swinburne)
Student Review: Adam Batten MCR
Thursday Nov 21, 10:30
Gonzalo Diaz (Gemini Observatory)
Colloquium: Gonzalo Diaz
Thursday Nov 14, 10:30
Joel Pfeffer (Liverpool John Moores)
Colloquium: The E-MOSAICS project: simulating the formation and evolution of galaxies and their globular cluster populations across full cos
Stellar clusters are ubiquitous in the local Universe, being found in all galactic environments; from local dwarf galaxies to giant ellipticals in galaxy clusters, both in stellar haloes and star-forming discs. However, the formation of star cluster populations (in particular globular clusters) has remained a long-standing problem in astrophysics. I will present recent results from the E-MOSAICS project: a suite of cosmological, hydrodynamical simulations run with the EAGLE galaxy formation model that includes subgrid models for star cluster formation and evolution. I will discuss how a single formation mechanism can explain the origin of both young and old (globular) clusters, and how, subsequently, cluster populations can be used to reconstruct a galaxy's formation and assembly history. Through quantitative comparisons of the simulations with the Milky Way's globular cluster population, we have uncovered a previously unknown galaxy merger which is among the most massive ever experienced by our Galaxy.
Thursday Nov 7, 14:00
Vivek Gupta ()
Student Review: Vivek Gupta's mid-candidature review
Vivek Gupta's mid-candidature review
Thursday Nov 7, 10:30
Jesse van de Sande (University of Sydney)
Colloquium: The build-up of mass and angular momentum in galaxies across morphology and environment with SAMI
Studying the build-up of mass and angular momentum in galaxies is fundamental to understanding the large variations in morphology and star formation that we see in present-day galaxies. Integral Field Spectroscopy has revolutionised our capability of measuring resolved stellar kinematic data and has changed our classic view of early-type and late-type galaxies as two distinctly seperate populations. In this talk I will highlight several key results from the SAMI Galaxy Survey, which provides two-dimensional stellar population, gas and stellar kinematic measurements for ~3000 galaxies. I will show how specific angular momentum and lambdaR (spin parameter proxy) gradually change as a function of morphology and environment, and compare these to predictions from cosmological simulations.
Thursday Oct 31, 10:30
Serena Vinciguerra (Monash/AEI Hannover)
Be X-ray binaries (BeXBs) consist of rapidly rotating Be stars with neutron star companions accreting from the emission disk. We compare the observed population of BeXBs in the Small Magellanic Cloud to simulated populations of BeXB-like systems produced with the COMPAS population synthesis code. We focus on the apparently higher minimal mass of Be stars in BeXBs than in the Be population at large. Assuming that BeXBs experienced only dynamical stable mass transfer, their mass distribution suggests that the efficiency of accretion rarely drops below $\sim 30\%$. We also investigate the observed orbital period distribution and number of observed systems, looking for further constraints on our mass transfer models. Finally, we argue if ultra stripped stars could lead to fast rotating neutron stars in BeXBs. We expect our findings to affect our previous predictions on the population of double compact mergers.
Thursday Oct 24, 10:30
Roberto De Propris (FINCA-Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO)
Colloquium: The Ultraviolet Upturn in Early-Type Galaxies
We explore the evolution of the UV upturn in Early-Type Galaxies at 0 < z < 0.7 using a sample of clusters with archival data from GALEX, UVOT and HST. We find that the UV upturn is present in all ETGs irrespective of environment. The colour and temperature of the upturn depend on galaxy mass, in the sense of more massive galaxies having stronger upturns. The upturn does not evolve to z=0.55 but there is clear evidence that it evolves rapidly to the red afterwards. The only viable explanation is the presence of a minority population (about 10% by mass) composed of Helium enriched stars (Y > 0.42) and formed at z > 4 in situ. This implies extremely high stellar masses to be already assembled in the early Universe
Wednesday Oct 23, 10:30
Student Review: Tilahun COC
Tuesday Oct 22, 10:30
H. Ding ()
Student Review: Hao Ding Confirmation of Candidature Review
Confirmation of Candidature review talk.
Thursday Oct 17, 10:30
Prof. Mordehai Milgrom (Weizmann Institute)
Colloquium: Scale Invariance at low accelerations (MOND) and the mass anomalies in the Universe
The MOND paradigm suggests that the mass discrepancies in galactic systems and the Universe at large are not due to `dark matter', but to departure from standard dynamics in the limit of low accelerations, where MOND dynamics become space-time scale invariant. I will briefly review the paradigm, with emphasis on its phenomenology, discussing its successes and remaining desiderata.
Tuesday Oct 15, 10:30
Pol Gurri (CAS, SUT)
Student Review: MCR: Pol Gurri -- Precision weak lensing
Thursday Oct 10, 10:30
Klaus Dolag (MPA)
Colloquium: Magnetic Fields in Galaxy Clusters and beyond
In galaxy clusters, non-thermal components such as magnetic field, turbulence
and high energy particles keep a record of the processes acting since early
times till now. These components play key roles by controlling transport
processes inside the cluster atmosphere and therefore have to be understood
in detail. However including them in cosmological simulations is extremely
challenging as the structures in and around clusters are quite complex and
span a very large dynamic range in scales. I will report the status of what
can be achieved in numerical simulations of the formation of galaxies and
galaxy clusters in cosmological context and our predictions for the magnetic
field structure based on models of magnetic seeding directly coupled to the
star-formation process. This allows to model the transport of heat coupled
directly to the magnetic fields in galaxy clusters as well as the modelling
of cosmic ray electrons powering the diffuse radio emission within galaxy
Thursday Oct 3, 10:30
Rossana Ruggeri (Swinburne)
Colloquium: Using galaxy surveys to understand cosmological evolution.
With the aid of millions of galaxies, cosmology, as a data-driven discipline, investigates the physics just after the Big-Bang, when the seeds of anisotropies ( later becoming galaxies through gravity ) were created and the effect of dark energy driving the evolution of the Universe today.
In this talk, I will present various ways in which we can use galaxy redshift surveys to test theoretical models. In particular, using observables like Baryon Acoustic Oscillations and Redshift-space distortions, we can measure the cosmological parameters as well as test models of dark energy and modified gravity.
The low statistical errors on cosmological parameters promised by future galaxy surveys will only be realised with the development of new, fast, analysis methods that reduce potential systematic problems to low levels. In the second part of my talk, I will present an efficient method for measuring the redshift evolution in the cosmological parameters and its application to measure the latest eBOSS DR14 data.
Thursday Sep 12, 10:30
Suei-Hei Hon (Swinburne)
Student Review: Suei-Hei Hon (aka Dexter) CoC PhD review
Suei-Hei Hon (aka Dexter) CoC PhD review
Tuesday Sep 10, 10:30
Nandini Sahu (Swinburne)
Student Review: Nandini Sahu - mid-candidature
Black Hole Mass Scaling Relations
Thursday Sep 5, 10:30
Sarah Sweet (Swinburne)
Colloquium: Spatially-resolved galaxy angular momentum encodes galaxy evolution
How do galaxies evolve from the compact, red nuggets, the clumpy, turbulent disks, and the complex, merging systems of the early Universe to the familiar Hubble types we see today? Their evolution is intimately linked with the environmental conditions and structure of the Universe since cosmic noon. The impact of cumulative tidal torques during a galaxy's formation is traced by its specific angular momentum, which is consequently a fundamental property in its evolutionary history, affecting that galaxy's size, density and morphology. In this talk I will present my research into the relation between specific angular momentum and galaxy morphology for galaxies at the peak of cosmic star formation and galaxies today, critically accounting for the internal spatial distribution of angular momentum and its effect on galaxy evolution.
Wednesday Sep 4, 11:30
Marcus Lower ()
Student Review: Marcus Lower CoC talk
Thursday Aug 29, 10:30
Daniel Berke (CAS)
Student Review: Daniel Berke's mid-candidature review
Wednesday Aug 28, 14:00
C. Day ()
Student Review: Cherie Day Mid-candidature Review
Please note, the day and time of this event has been changed.
Monday Aug 26, 10:30
Student Review: James Esdaille MCR
Thursday Aug 22, 14:00
Rahul Sengar (Swinburne University)
Student Review: Rahul Sengar CoC Review
Rahul Sengar CoC Review
Thursday Aug 22, 10:30
Ellert vd Velden (Swinburne)
Student Review: Ellert MCR booking
Tuesday Aug 20, 12:30
Student Review: Robert draft thesis review
Thursday Aug 15, 10:30
Chris Martin (Caltech)
Colloquium: Observations of Circumgalactic, Inflowing and Outflowing Gas with CWI
I describe observations with the Palomar Cosmic Web Imager and the newly commissioned Keck Cosmic Web Imager of the Circum-Galactic Medium (CGM). We show ubiquitous Lyman alpha emission near 2
Thursday Aug 15, 15:30
Adam Delller ()
Colloquium: SOLL Seminar - Radio interferometry at the highest angular resolutions: instrumentation and astronomical applications
By combining radio signals received at telescopes spread across the globe into an interferometer 10,000km in size, it is possible to make images with an angular resolution of ~10 nanoradians: sufficient to discern a human hair at a distance of 10 km. In order to produce these images, it is necessary to perform sophisticated digital signal processing on the sampled representation of the electric field sensed by the radio telescopes in the array. Historically, the high computational demands of this process led to the implementation of custom DSP hardware, but the ever-increasing power of commodity hardware has recently led to the widespread adoption of a more flexible, "software"-based processing system. I will describe the "DiFX" software correlator package that is now used for most high angular resolution radio imaging world-wide, and illustrate several of its applications from recent years, including the first ever image of the wreckage from the collision of two neutron stars, and the first ever image of the shadow of a black hole.
Tuesday Aug 13, 10:30
Dian Triani ()
Student Review: Pipit's Mid-Candidature Review
Thursday Aug 8, 10:30
Prof Zong-Hong Zhu (Beijing Normal University)
Colloquium: Gravitational lensing of gravitational waves and its application to fundamental physics and cosmology
The first direct detection of gravitational waves (GW) opens the new era of gravitational wave astronomy. The strongly lensed GWs seen by 3G detectors accompanied by electromagnetic (EM) signals could be used to test modified theories of gravity, serve as a milestone in precision cosmology, and apply to studying dark matter distributions. I will introduce the event rate observed by 3G detectors as well as those applications of lensed GW-EM system to fundamental physics and cosmology.
Wednesday Jul 31, 10:30
Agnes Kospal (Konkoly Observatory)
Colloquium: FU Orionis-type young eruptive stars and their envelopes: the links between Class I and Class II protostars?
FU Orionis-type stars (FUors) are young stellar objects experiencing large optical outbursts due to highly enhanced accretion from the circumstellar disk onto the star. FUors are often surrounded by massive envelopes, which have a significant role in the outburst mechanism. Conversely, the subsequent eruptions might gradually clear up the obscuring envelope material and drive the protostar on its way to become a disk-only T Tauri star; an evolutionary picture proposed more than a decade ago. In this talk I will review recent advances in this field mostly based on observational studies using data from the VLT, SMA, APEX, IRAM, and ALMA. These revealed very compact and bright central sources (indicating significant heating and very optically thick material in the center), a wide variety of envelope structures from tenuous to massive ones (confirming the evolutionary aspects), outflows more powerful than typical in normal protostars, and rich chemistry. These results also highlight the importance of combining data with different spatial resolutions to correctly sample the emission spanning several orders of magnitude in distance scale, from the inner disk at a few au, through the disk-envelope interface at a few hundred au, to the large-scale envelope and outflow cavity at several thousand au.
Tuesday Jul 30, 10:30
Poojan Agrawal (Swinburne)
Student Review: Poojan Agrawal - Mid-Candidature Review
Thursday Jun 27, 10:30
Tom Binnie (Imperial)
Colloquium: Bayesian Model Selection with Future 21cm Observations of the Epoch of Reionisation
We apply Bayesian statistics to perform model selection on different reionisation scenarios via the Multinest algorithm. Initially, we recover the results shown by 21CMMC for the parameter estimation of 21cmFAST models. We proceed to test several toy models of the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) defined in contrasting morphology and scale. We find that LOFAR observations are unlikely to allow model selection even with long integration times. HERA would require 61 dipoles to perform the same analysis in 1080 hours, and becomes comparable to the SKA with 217 dipoles. We find the SKA requires only 324 hours of observation to conclusively distinguish between our models. Once model selection is achievable, an analysis of observational priors is performed finding that neutral fraction checks at specific redshifts add little to no inference. We show the difficulties in model selection at the level of distinguishing fiducial parameters within a model or distinguishing galaxies with a constant versus power law mass-to-light ratio. Finally, we explore the use of the Savage-Dickey density ratio to show the redundancy of the parameter Rmfp within 21cmFAST.
Thursday Jun 20, 10:30
Igor Andreoni (Caltech)
Colloquium: Neutron star mergers during LIGO/Virgo O3: an observer's viewpoint
The second observing run (O2) of the Advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors finished with the discovery of GW170817, the first binary neutron star merger detected in gravitational waves. The identification of the electromagnetic counterpart to GW170817 made possible multi-messenger studies that led to a plethora of new science.

The third LIGO/Virgo observing run (O3) started in April 2019 and has already returned several discoveries, including binary neutron star merger candidates and the first neutron star - black hole merger candidate. However, these initial months of operations have already shown that O3 presents new challenges for electromagnetic observers: detected mergers took place at distances larger than 115 Mpc and were coarsely localized over thousands of square degrees. I will discuss recent follow-up of neutron star mergers, focusing in particular on observations performed with the Dark Energy Camera and with the Zwicky Transient Facility, both led by the GROWTH collaboration. I will conclude the talk presenting some lessons that we have learnt so far, waiting for more surprises during the remainder of O3.
Thursday Jun 13, 10:30
Daniel Reardon (Swinburne)
Colloquium: Precision timing and scintillation of binary radio pulsars
Radio pulsars are precise clocks that can be timed using a detailed model of the pulsar, its binary orbit, and the ionised interstellar medium along our line of sight. This timing model can be used to test theories of dense matter, gravity in the strong field, and a set of the most stable pulsars can even be used as a Galactic-scale gravitational wave detector. In this talk I will describe my work to improve the timing models of pulsars through precision pulsar timing and by modelling their scintillation. I will highlight recent results for the nearest and brightest millisecond pulsar PSR J0437-4715, which include precise new distance and mass measurements, and a relativistic binary PSR J1141-6545. Finally, I will describe how these techniques will be useful for next-generation instruments including the Parkes ultra-wideband receiver, and the impressive MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa.
Thursday Jun 6, 10:30
Yuxiang Qin (Scuola Normale Superiore)
Colloquium: To Illuminate the Dark Ages
The measurement of the cosmic 21-cm signal with the SKA will transform our understanding of the epochs of reionization and cosmic dawn. The properties of the first stars and galaxies are encoded in the patterns of the signal. Interpreting these patterns requires accurate and efficient models. I will present an update of the 21cm FAST semi-numerical simulation, which separately accounts for star-formation inside the very first galaxies. This unseen and transient population of galaxies obtain their gas through molecular cooling from the intergalactic medium, and could have markedly different properties from the more massive galaxies observed with Hubble and eventually JWST. I demonstrate that if the recently-reported EDGES signal at z~17 is genuinely cosmological, these molecularly-cooled "mini-halo" galaxies must have played a dominant role during Cosmic Dawn.
Thursday May 30, 10:30
Jonas Zmuidzinas (Caltech)
Colloquium: What's New at the Palomar and Keck Observatories, and More
The first half of my talk will be a brief introduction to the facilities that fall under the Caltech Optical Observatories umbrella, namely Palomar and Keck, including some of the new capabilities and instrumentation that are enabling for time-domain and exoplanet science. In the second half of my talk, I will describe the history and development of microwave kinetic inductance detectors, a type of superconducting detector that offers unique capabilities for astronomy and is now being deployed on telescopes.
Tuesday May 28, 11:00
Renee Spiewak (Swinburne University of Technology)
Student Review: Renee Spiewak review (33-36 month)
Renee Spiewak's 33-36 month review.
Thursday May 16, 10:30
David Buckley (SAAO)
Colloquium: The SALT/SAAO Transient Programme in the LSST Era
I will describe the status, results and future of the SALT transient follow-up program, which began in 2016 and will continue until at least 2021. This multi-partner high priority programme is awarded ~300 ksec per semester, with a significant fraction (>50%) given for the highest priority target of opportunity time. The programme studies transients across a wide range of classes, currently including (from closest to most distant): cataclysmic variables; novae and other associated eruptive variables; low and high mass X-ray binaries; OGLE and Gaia transients, including tidal disruption and black hole microlensing events; super-luminous and unusual core-collapse supernovae; multi-messenger transients (gravitational wave and neutrino events); flaring blazars, AGN and GRBs. South Africa's support of LSST, through funding of PI Affiliate programmes, is described in context with the recent strategic decision to focus on key astronomy research areas, which includes transient astronomy. These plans include harnessing the many optical facilities at the SAAO into an "intelligent observatory", for automated source followup studies, which will also involve the ThunderKAT transient programme on the MeerKAT radio telescope. These coordinated facilities are also planned to form a cornerstone of the proposed BRICS flagship programme on transient astronomy, to be developed over the coming decade, harnessing both existing and future multi-wavelength facilities within the BRICS countries.
Tuesday May 14, 14:00
Debatri ()
Student Review: Mid-Candidature review
Student Review: Debatri Chattopadhyay - Mid-Candidature Review - Debatri Chattopadhyay
Host: Jarrod Hurley
Tuesday May 14, 10:30
Arianna (Swinburne)
Student Review: Arianna Dolfi - CoC Review
Thursday May 9, 10:30
James Miller-Jones (ICRAR/Curtin)
Colloquium: A rapidly changing jet orientation from a stellar-mass black hole
Powerful relativistic jets are one of the main ways in which accreting black holes provide kinetic feedback to their surroundings. Jets launched from or redirected by the accretion flow that powers them are expected to be affected by the dynamics of the flow. Recent X-ray timing observations of accreting stellar-mass black holes have shown evidence for Lense-Thirring precession when the black hole spin axis is misaligned with the orbital plane of its companion star. While the interplay between the dynamics of the accretion flow and the launching of the jets is still unclear, theoretical simulations have suggested that the jets and a precessing accretion flow can be coupled by pressure or magnetic torques.

In this talk, I will present high-resolution, time-resolved radio imaging of the 2015 outburst of the black hole X-ray binary system V404 Cygni, showing that at the peak of the outburst the jet orientation was changing on timescales of minutes to hours. I will show that this can be modelled as the Lense-Thirring precession of a vertically extended slim disk that arises from the super-Eddington accretion rate. This scenario would suggest that the dynamics of the precessing inner accretion disk could play a role in either directly launching or redirecting the jets within the inner few hundred gravitational radii. I will discuss the implications of these results, and conclude by briefly considering the likely prevalence of such phenomena, and how this could be further explored via new imaging algorithms.
Tuesday May 7, 10:30
Koki Kakiichi (UCL)
Colloquium: What reionized the Universe?
Study of reionization has now experiencing a surge of new insights, but the long-standing problem "what reionized the universe" still remains unsolved. Hubble observations have placed a now-commonly-held view that the intrinsically faint galaxies are responsible for driving the reionization process, but with a fundamental assumption of large escape fractions >10%. A further puzzle comes from the recent deep spectroscopy of luminous galaxies and the spatial opacity fluctuation of the intergalactic medium (IGM) at z>5.7, which suggests a possibly important role of luminous systems and active galactic nuclei/quasars (QSOs). In the theoretical front, simulating early galaxies and the reionization process and is extremely challenging, requring the understanding of the physics over a huge dynamic range from the scale of molecular clouds to the intergalactic medium. To shed light on theses issues, we introduce a new spectroscopic programme surveying 56 QSO fields and a power of direct 3D mapping of galaxies and the their environment, which will be enabled by JWST, ELT, and SKA
Wednesday May 1, 10:30
Mamoru Doi (University of Tokyo)
Colloquium: The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory
The University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory (TAO) Project is to
construct and operate a 6.5m infrared telescope at the summit of Co.
Chajnantor (altitude 5640m) in northern Chile by UTokyo. Thanks to the
dry climate and the high altitude, excellent observation condition in
the NIR to MIR wavelengths is verified with a pathfinder 1-m telescope
miniTAO. The 6.5m telescope has two Nasmyth foci where two facility
instruments, SWIMS for the near-infrared and MIMIZUKU for the mid-
infrared, will be installed and two folded- Cassegrain foci for carry-in
instruments. I will give project overview and the curren status of TAO
project, as well as key science topics.
Thursday Apr 18, 10:30
Stephanie Juneau (NOAO)
Colloquium: Science & Discovery with the NOAO Data Lab: Mining Large Astronomy Datasets
As we progress into an era of increasingly large astronomy datasets, Science Platforms with both data storage and analysis tools are needed to take full advantage of data-intensive surveys. The NOAO Data Lab ( is developing a suite of analysis tools for users to work close to the data, and thus optimize the scientific productivity of the astronomy community. We currently host datasets from NOAO facilities such as the Dark Energy Survey (DES), the DESI imaging Legacy Surveys (LS), the Dark Energy Camera Plane Survey (DECaPS), and the nearly all-sky NOAO Source Catalog (NSC). We also host complementary datasets including Gaia DR2 and All-WISE, and we are further preparing for large spectroscopic datasets like DESI. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) had its first light recently, and will obtain spectra for 40 million galaxies and quasars over the course of the next 5 years. After an overview of the Data Lab and datasets, I will showcase scientific applications on topics covering extragalactic large-scale structures, star/galaxy separation, finding dwarf galaxies, and probing stellar populations in the Galactic Plane. Lastly, I will describe our vision for future developments as we tackle the next technical and scientific challenges, several of which are shared with other data centers and science platforms, and may be relevant to the ASTRO 3D programs.
Thursday Apr 11, 10:30
Mark McAuley and Karl Glazebrook (Swinburne)
Colloquium: TBA
Thursday Apr 4, 10:30
Andreas Burkert (USM Munich)
Colloquium: Declining rotation curves, missing baryons and the origin of turbulence: the puzzling properties of high-redshift disk galaxies
The redshift 2 universe is one of the most interesting epochs of galaxy evolution. It is the era with the peak
of the cosmic star formation rate. Between redshift 3 and 1 the total stellar mass density in galaxies increased from
15% to 70%. It is also the time of rapid galaxy assembly and the epoch where galaxy morphology was determined.

Observations of z=2 star-forming galaxies reveal physical properties that are unparalleled in the z=0 Universe.
Gas-rich, extended, fast rotating and highly turbulent disks have been found with star formation rates that are a factor of 10 to 100
larger than in present-day Milky-Way type galaxies. Kpc-sized, massive gas clumps dominate the appearance of these galaxies. Even more interesting
are recent observations of declining rotation curves in the outer parts of these disks and dynamical masses, inferred from their rotation velocities
that are equal to the observed baryonic mass leaving no room for dark matter.

I will summarize the newest observations and the puzzles and challenges that they generate for our theoretical understanding of cosmic galaxy formation and galactic dynamics.
Thursday Mar 28, 10:30
Amelia Fraser-McKelvie (University of Nottingham)
Colloquium: The complicated lives of disk galaxies: lessons from IFS
Most galaxies consist of a dispersion-dominated bulge region and a regularly rotating disk. These components have built up their mass separately through different processes, yet are evolving together. It has become commonplace to separate the light from bulge and disk regions to better understand their formation and contribution to their host galaxy. The same techniques can also be applied to IFS data of other galaxy components, such as bars and spiral arms. I will detail some of the latest results from the MaNGA galaxy survey, including efforts to study stellar populations in lenticular galaxies within bulge and disk regions, and an investigation into the influence of bars on the secular evolution of disk galaxies.
Thursday Mar 21, 10:30
Vera Patricio (Niels Bohr Institute)
Colloquium: Gravitational Arcs: a closer look at typical z~1 disc galaxies
I will present the analysis of the resolved properties of a sample of highly magnified gravitational arcs. These are typical z~1 disc galaxies that are gravitationally lensed by massive galaxy clusters, which allows us to probe their properties at spatial scales of a few hundreds of parsecs. I will particularly focus on properties derived using MUSE IFU data: the kinematics and ionised gas turbulence of these galaxies, as well as their metallicity. We model both lensing and observational effects to study the intrinsic velocity dispersion and metallicity gradient of these objects. Surprisingly, despite their high turbulence and large star-forming regions, typical of z~1 galaxies, the kinematics and metallicity gradient of these objects is quite similar to what is found in local (mature) discs.
Tuesday Mar 19, 11:00
Aditya Parthasarathy (Swinburne University of Technology)
Student Review: Aditya P
Aditya 33 month review.
Thursday Mar 14, 10:30
Laura Prichard (STSci)
Colloquium: The Evolution of Early-Type Galaxies
Investigating the evolutionary paths of galaxies can reveal valuable information on the conditions of the early Universe, the build-up of the Cosmic Web, the formation of stars and much more. Smooth elliptical early-type galaxies (ETGs) are a "red and dead" population that make up the most massive and old galaxies in the Universe. Their detailed kinematics, revealed through 3D integral-field spectroscopy, has shifted our view of this seemingly homogenous population to a diverse and complex class of galaxy. An increasingly popular theory of ETG evolution shows they could have evolved through two distinct phases: a starburst and steady accretion of gas-poor galaxies. However, a wealth of observational evidence directly conflicts this theory for some ETGs, highlighting the importance of investigating a wider variety of systems through new methods. I will present research that leverages the current leading-edge integral-field instruments to investigate the evolution of ETGs. I look to distant quiescent galaxies in one of the densest regions of the early Universe and at the fossil record of a local galaxy to shed light on some of the unsolved mysteries of how ETGs evolved.
Tuesday Mar 12, 10:30
Marios Karouzos (Nature Astronomy) ()
Colloquium: How to publish (and write) an impactful paper in Nature Astronomy and beyond
Nature Astronomy, launched in January 2017, is a new research journal published by Springer Nature. Sitting alongside our sister journal Nature, we aim to publish high impact research in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science. In this talk I will cover the motivation and scope of the journal, the types of manuscripts we publish, the editorial process and what we look for in papers. I will also cover common pitfalls of writing and submitting papers and I will share hints and tips on how to maximize the impact of your paper, from writing an engaging but informative title and a properly contextualized but concise abstract, to structuring your paper in a way that your results are communicated succinctly.
Thursday Mar 7, 10:30
Andrew Cameron (ATNF/CSIRO)
Colloquium: The latest results from the HTRU-S Low Latitude Pulsar Survey: a zoo of new and exciting pulsars
Pulsars, rapidly-rotating and highly-magnetised neutron stars, can be utilised as tools in the study of many aspects of fundamental physical, most notably in the application of binary pulsars to the study of gravitational theories such as General Relativity. The discovery of ever-more relativistic binary systems than those presently known will allow for such tests to probe even deeper into the nature of gravity. Here, I will present results from the processing of 44% of the the HTRU-South Low Latitude pulsar survey (HTRU-S LowLat), the most sensitive blind survey of the southern Galactic plane taken to date. This includes the discovery and long-term timing of 40 new radio pulsars identified through the continued application of a novel “partially-coherent segmented acceleration search” technique, which was specifically designed to discover highly-relativistic binary systems. These pulsars display a range of scientifically-interesting behaviours including glitching, pulse-nulling and binary motion, and appear to comprise a population of generally older, lower-luminosity pulsars as compared to the previously-known population. In addition, I will also present an in-depth report on PSR J1757-1854, the only relativistic binary pulsar to have been discovered in HTRU-S LowLat to date. This extreme double neutron star system (which remains the most accelerated pulsar binary ever discovered) promises to provide new insights into gravitational theories within the coming years.
Tuesday Mar 5, 10:30
Student Review: Uros Mestric pre-submission review
Thursday Feb 28, 10:30
Sowgat Muzahid (Leiden University)
Colloquium: MUSEQuBES CGM Surveys: From Low-z Star-forming Galaxies to High-z Lyman-alpha Emitters
Gas accretion and galactic winds are the two most important and yet the most poorly understood ingredients of galaxy evolution models. The physical/chemical conditions of the circumgalactic medium (CGM-- a dynamic, complex, multiphase gas reservoir surrounding galaxies) retain imprints of gas accretion and galactic winds. Moreover, it is now well-established that the metal-enriched, ionized CGM harbors gas and metal masses comparable to those in galaxies themselves and can account for the "missing baryons" in galaxies. Consequently, the CGM has received significant attention from both the theoretical and observational astronomical communities. To this end, we are conducting two major, and by far the largest, surveys on the CGM using ~120 hours of MUSE GTO observations. Our high-z (z > 3) sample comprises ~100 Lyman alpha emitters and the low-z (z < 1) sample comprises ~300 low-mass, star-forming galaxies. We use high S/N spectra of background quasars, obtained with the VLT/UVES (for high-z) and HST/COS (for low-z), to study their CGM using absorption line spectroscopy. An overview of the initial main results of these surveys will be presented in the talk. In particular, the dependence of the CGM properties on the SFR, stellar mass, impact parameter, and on redshift will be discussed.
Thursday Feb 21, 10:30
Ivo Labbe (Swinburne)
Colloquium: Galaxy Formation in the First Billion Years
Recent years have seen enormous progress in studies of galaxies
in the first billion years of the universe, during the epoch of
reionization. I will discuss state-of-the-art observations with
HST, Spitzer, ALMA, and ground-based facilities, focusing on
how they are used to identify, spectroscopically confirm, and
characterize the earliest star-forming and quiescent galaxies.
I will discuss evidence for ubiquitous strong nebular emission lines,
and implications for stellar mass build up and reionization of the
intergalactic medium. Finally, I will describe preparations
expectations for next-generation facilities such as the James Webb
Space Telescope.
Thursday Feb 14, 10:30
Sebastiano Cantalupo (ETH Zurich)
Colloquium: Illuminating the Cosmic Web with Fluorescent Ly-alpha emission
Our standard cosmological model predicts that most of the matter in the universe is distributed into a network of filaments - the Cosmic Web - in which galaxies form and evolve. Because most of this material is too diffuse to form stars, its direct imaging has remained elusive for several decades leaving fundamental questions about the structure of the universe still open, including: How are galaxies linked to each other? What are the morphological and physical properties of the Cosmic Web on both large and small scales? How do galaxies accrete gas from the Cosmic Web? In this talk, I will tackle these questions using the results of a new program to directly detect and study high-redshift cosmic gas in emission using bright quasars and galaxies as external "sources of illumination". In particular, I will show results from ultra-deep narrow-band imaging and integral-field-spectroscopy with both MUSE/VLT and the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI) that revealed numerous giant Lyman-alpha emitting filaments extending up to several hundred kpc around quasars and bright galaxies. I will discuss how the unexpectedly high luminosities of these systems, together with the constraints from Helium and metal extended emission, represent a challenge for our current understanding of cosmological structure formation. In particular, I will show that current observations suggest that intergalactic gas around high-redshift galaxies and quasars has a much broader density distribution of cold material than expected from cosmological simulations and I will present our first attempts to understand the origin and nature of these structures using high-resolution hydrodynamical models. At the same time, current galaxy formation models lack an efficient mechanism to prevent too much intergalactic gas cooling onto galaxies at later epochs and rely on very strong "ejective" feedback. In the final part of the talk (if time allows), I will show how the interaction between high-energy radiation from star-forming galaxies and the gas surrounding them provides a natural way to prevent "excessive" intergalactic gas cooling onto galaxies and I will discuss HST/COS observations that provide support for the importance of this effect.
Thursday Feb 7, 14:00
Student Review: Wael Farah's 30-month review
Thursday Feb 7, 10:30
Melanie Kaasinen (MPIA)
Colloquium: Weighing the Molecular Gas Reservoirs of High Redshift Galaxies
One of the outstanding problems in galaxy evolution studies is to link
the evolution of the star formation rate of galaxies to their molecular
gas content. Observationally, the last decade of studies have led to a
clear picture of the cosmic star formation history, which peaked at z~2
and has declined since then. However, it is unclear whether the
declining star formation rates are simply the result of lower molecular
gas masses, or whether the star formation efficiency has also evolved.
In this talk, I will discuss how the molecular gas contents of galaxies
are measured and highlight the difficulties of doing so at high
redshift. I will describe one of the most popular approaches, which
relies upon the dust continuum emission, and will present our recent
work where we test the validity of the dust continuum calibration
via a unique sample of z~2 galaxies with observations of both dust
continuum and CO(1-0) line emission.
Thursday Jan 31, 10:30
Mattheu Schaller (Leiden Observatory)
Colloquium: Baryonic effects on next-generation cosmological probes - How will we get the accuracy required?
In recent years cosmological hydro-dynamical simulations of representative volumes have reached a level of maturity where they
can be compared effectively against observational data. They can also be used to shed some lights onto galaxy formation processes
and how they affect the distribution of baryonic and dark matter. Understanding these effects is a key element required to fully
unlock the science of the next generation cosmological probes such as the Euclid mission.
In this talk, I will review some results from the EAGLE set of cosmological simulations focusing on the aspects highlighted above. I
will then discuss the challenges that lay ahead in terms of simulation complexity and how we are tackling some of them using our
new modern and open-source simulation code SWIFT.
Thursday Jan 17, 10:30
Xavier Prochaska ()
Colloquium: The Wolfe Disk: ALMA Discoveries of Distant, HI-selected Galaxies
I will review our series of successful programs to dissect the interstellar medium of distant, star-forming galaxies with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). In particular, I will discuss surveys of the set of HI-selected galaxies known as the damped Lya systems (DLAs). We resolve, in part, a decades-old struggle to identify the galactic counterparts of these DLAs and thereby place them firmly in the modern picture of galaxy formation. I will also highlight high spectral and spatial resolution observations of the Wolfe Disk, a z~4 galaxy with a Milky Way-like rotation curve.