Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleGalaxy Formation in State of the Art Cosmological Simulations
SupervisorDr Aaron Ludlow
Prof Chris Power
A/Pro Claudia Lagos Urbina
Dr Danail Obreschkow
CourseDoctor of Philosophy
galaxy formation
scientific supercomputing
theoretical astrophysics
CategoriesAstronomy and Astrophysics
Research areaPhysical Sciences
Project description

Galaxy formation and evolution are among the most active fields astronomical research. Cosmological hydrodynamical simulations play a crucial role in developing the theory underpinning this research - following the complex interplay of physical processes that affect not only what happens within galaxies, but also their larger scale environment. This is because of physical processes — such as energetic feedback from stars and supermassive black holes — that are so powerful that they shape the fate of matter millions of lightyears from their source. Galaxy formation also involves a wide range of physical scales: gravitational tides from surrounding structures torque mass that accretes onto galaxies giving rise or ordered rotation, while stars — the cellular building blocks of galaxies — form on scales a billion times smaller.  

Researchers at ICRAR/UWA are helping design the next generation of hydrodynamical simulations together with an international team of researchers (including scientists from Australia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Finland and other European countries). These projects include the SWAN simulations (co-led by A/Professor Aaron Ludlow and Professor Chris Power), and the Genesis simulation suite (led by Professor Chris Power), among several others.

The analysis and interpretation of these simulations offer a number of potential PhD projects that can also be tailored to the interests of the student:

  • The effect of baryon physics on the large scale structure of the Universe.
  • The formation of galaxy disks and bulges over cosmic time.
  • The multiscale nature of angular momentum: from the cosmic web to galaxies.
  • The baryon cycle: interplay between gas accretion and stellar and black-hole driven feedback.
  • The low surface brightness Universe and its connection to galaxy assembly and baryon physical processes.
Open date31 Jul 2024
Close date31 Oct 2024
SchoolGraduate Research School
  • A/Professor Claudia Lagos (claudia.lagos@uwa.edu.au)
  • A/Professor Aaron Ludlow (aaron.ludlow@uwa.edu.au)
  • Professor Daniel Obreschkow (danail.obreschkow@uwa.edu.au)
  • Professor Chris Power (chris.power@uwa.edu.au)
Course typeDoctorates

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a program of independent, supervised research that is assessed solely on the basis of a thesis, sometimes including a creative work component, that is examined externally. The work presented for a PhD must be a substantial and original contribution to scholarship, demonstrating mastery of the subject of interest as well as an advance in that field of knowledge. 

Visit the course webpage for full details of this course including admission requirements, course rules and the relevant CRICOS code/s.

Duration4 years