Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleThe Physics of Galaxy Evolution Across Space and Time
SupervisorProf Luca Cortese
CourseDoctor of Philosophy
galaxy evolution
observational astronomy
big data
Research areaPhysical Sciences
Project description

One of the most outstanding challenges in extragalactic astronomy is to identify the astrophysical processes responsible for transforming simple gas clouds into the heterogeneous population of galaxies inhabiting today’s Universe. How did galaxies of different types form and evolve? Does the environment where a galaxy lives influence its evolution?  Inevitably, the answers to these questions entail a detailed investigation of all the components of the interstellar medium (gas, dust, metals) and their relation to stellar properties, kinematics and environment. This clearly requires multi-wavelength information for statistically significant samples of galaxies across the cosmic web, which are becoming available only now.

Our research group investigates the physical properties of galaxies and their dependence on redshift and environment using large, multi-wavelength datasets. The multi-wavelength approach is at the foundation of our research, as it is the only way to trace all the baryonic constituents of galaxies and to reveal how the Universe formed and evolves.

We offer projects suitable for PhD students spanning a wide range of topics, and taking advantage of observations obtained with state-of- the-art ground- and space-based facilities.

For the current academic year we offer projects primarily focused on the scientific exploitation of data obtained as part of the following state-of-the-art surveys:

The MAUVE survey, a brand-new large program with the VLT/MUSE instrument focused on understanding how the star formation and interstellar medium of galaxies are affected by the environment in the most massive structures in the Universe.

The WALLABY survey, performing the largest ever survey of atomic hydrogen content of galaxies in the local Universe. Work on WALLABY will focus on the characherisation of the physical link between gas accretion and star formation in galaxies.

The DEVILS survey, tracing the effect of the environment across the last few billion years of galaxy evolution.

Opportunity statusOpen
Open date01 Mar 2024
Close date31 Dec 2024
SchoolGraduate Research School

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR): email | web

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


Astronomy and Astrophysics

The Physics of Galaxy Evolution Across Space and Time