Higher Degree by Research Application Portal

TitleThe Co-Evolution of Galaxies and Their Local Environment Over the Last 8 Billion Years
SupervisorDr Luke Davies
CourseDoctor of Philosophy
galaxy evolution
observational astronomy
big data
Research areaPhysical Sciences
Project description

Just like you and I the life of a galaxy is fundamentally shaped by where it lives. Galaxies which reside in isolated regions of space have a very different life to those with live at the centre of bustling clusters, where interactions are frequent and violent. These varying environments can induce a complex web of influences on the properties of galaxies, shaping their evolutionary path.

Despite being of paramount importance to our understanding of how all galaxies formed and evolved, our knowledge of how, why and to what degree environment shapes galaxies has been observationally restricted to local Universe. This means that we know the end point correlations between environment and galaxy evolution, but not their causation. To explore this further we must look to new state-of-the-art projects and techniques which will open up our ability to trace how galaxies evolve in different environments.     

Within our group we are leading next generation multi-wavelength galaxy surveys aimed at exploring the co-evolution of galaxies and environment. We also develop new software analysis tools to maximally exploit these data. Projects in this area are based around the DEVILS & WAVES surveys, but also combine data from some of the world’s other foremost facilities, including JWST, HST, Subaru, and SKA precursors MeerKAT and ASKAP.

For 2024 we are offering projects in various areas linking galaxy properties with their environment. Possible examples include:

i) How is the morphological and structural evolution of galaxies driven by  environment? ii) What is the impact of group-scale environments of the evolution of star-formation and stellar mass. iii) What is the link between Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) activity and environment from merger to cluster scales. iv) What is the origin of luminous material in and around galaxies. 

Opportunity statusOpen
Open date01 May 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