I study the evolution of galaxies and the processes which drive that evolution. I analyze both observations (primarily in the radio, [sub]millimeter, infrared, and optical bands) and N-body/hydrodynamic simulations to understand the growth of galaxies and their black holes, and how feedback processes may eventually halt that growth. I focus on deriving physically meaningful properties from the observations, often employing detailed simulations as test-beds for data analysis approaches. Broadly speaking, I work in the following areas:
- The properties of the molecular interstellar medium and the relationship with ongoing star formation and black hole growth
- Use of numerical simulations as “ground truth” to understand tracers of the interstellar medium in galaxies
- Understanding the galaxy-scale dynamical environment of mergers using N-body simulations
Beyond direct probes of the activity in starbursts and AGN, these research topics also impact predictions for gravitational wave and neutrino sources and I am interested in multi-messenger astronomy, including mergers of neutron stars and of supermassive black holes.
If you are interested in using Identikit to model galaxy mergers, I have written a brief quickstart guide.
Here is a list of potential student projects.