Traces of Galaxy Formation: Stellar populations, Dynamics and Morphology


Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the key challenges of modern astronomy. Exquisitely detailed analyses of nearby and distant galaxies is now possible with the increasing amount of observational data coming from large facilities. Quality spectroscopic data is also becoming more common for galaxies up to and beyond z ~ 1. Despite the growing observational evidence, currently there is not yet a consensus on how the high-z samples are transformed into the local population of galaxies due to the intrinsic complexity of galaxy formation mechanisms. The most favoured paradigm suggests that the formation and evolution of galaxies is the result of a complex combination of hierarchical clustering, gas dissipation, merging and secular evolution.

A complex star formation history, as the one expected to describe galaxy evolution, needs a multidisciplinary approach to be fully understood. Our group at the IAC consist of experienced researchers in cosmological simulations, dynamical studies, stellar populations and morphological properties of galaxies up to redshift z~3. We combine different approaches (e.g. observations and theory, secular and cosmological evolution studies) to obtain a complete view of the dominant mechanisms driving the evolution of galaxies.

The main three research lines conducted in our group are:

  1. - Stellar population synthesis models

a. Development of stellar population models

b. Analysis methods for the study of populations in galaxies

c. Universally invariant IMF vs IGIMF theory

  1. - The cosmic evolution of galaxies

a. Stellar populations in galaxy clusters

b. Evolution of massive galaxies

c. Spectro-photometry of SDSS galaxies

d. Numerical simulations of massive galaxies

  1. - Secular processes in nearby galaxies

a. Unravelling the nature of bars and bulges

b. Outskirts of disks in nearby spirals

c. Formation and evolution of dwarf galaxies

Principal investigator
  1. Published a paper in Nature Astronomy on the orbital distribution of nearby galaxies with CALIFA:
  2. Published a Nature paper on the peculiar globular cluster system of the relic galaxy NGC 1277. First two authors from IAC:…
  3. Published a paper in MNRAS on some of the first star formation histories of Coma "ultra-diffuse" galaxies using ultra-deep GTC spectroscopy:
  4. :

Publications related

  • The SAURON project - XXI. The spatially resolved UV-line strength relations of early-type galaxies

    The unexpected rising flux of early-type galaxies at decreasing ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths is a long-standing mystery. One important observational constraint is the correlation between UV-optical colours and Mg2 line strengths found by Burstein et al. The simplest interpretation of this phenomenon is that the UV strength is related to the Mg line

    Jeong, Hyunjin et al.

    Advertised on:

  • Evolutionary stellar population synthesis with MILES - I. The base models and a new line index system

    We present synthetic spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for single-age, single-metallicity stellar populations (SSPs) covering the full optical spectral range at moderately high resolution [full width at half-maximum (FWHM) = 2.3Å]. These SEDs constitute our base models, as they combine scaled-solar isochrones with an empirical stellar spectral

    Vazdekis, A. et al.

    Advertised on:

  • Dwarfs Gobbling Dwarfs: A Stellar Tidal Stream around NGC 4449 and Hierarchical Galaxy Formation on Small Scales

    A candidate diffuse stellar substructure was previously reported in the halo of the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy NGC 4449 by Karachentsev et al. We map and analyze this feature using a unique combination of deep integrated-light images from the BlackBird 0.5 m telescope, and high-resolution wide-field images from the 8 m Subaru Telescope, which

    Martínez-Delgado, David et al.

    Advertised on:


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