Galaxy Formation & Evolution

I study galaxy formation and evolution, from the earliest times after the Big Bang to the present day.  I’m particularly interested in the most massive and luminous galaxies in the Universe. Massive galaxies --- galaxies more massive than the Milky Way, yet formed more than ~10 billion years ago --- are rare, and therefore require large surveys to find them.

I am one of the principal investigators of COSMOS and COSMOS-Web Surveys, both large-area surveys several times the area of the moon on the sky, designed at taking census of rare systems in the early Universe.

My research has often focused on observations of the most extreme star-forming galaxies in the Universe. Galaxies with star-formation rates several hundreds to thousands times that of the Milky Way are responsible for building most of the stars ever formed in the Universe. Such galaxies also pose a unique challenge to cosmological simulations and the formation of massive reservoirs of gas, dust within a billion years after the Big Bang. To date, they have been very difficult to study with optical telescopes because they are also extremely dusty and gas-rich, so learning more about their physical mechanisms requires observations at submillimeter to radio wavelengths, where cold gas and dust emit energy.

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Extreme Galaxies

Though hundreds of times more rare than "Milky Way" type galaxies, the Universe's most massive, intense starbursts may be the key to unlocking the physics of star formation and the relationship between galaxies and their environment in large scale structure.
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Our Research Group

I'm very lucky to work with a fantastic team of students and researchers at UT Austin. Meet each of us working to solve the mysteries of obscured galaxies, from resolved dynamics of nearby galaxies to molecular gas in the distant Universe, large radio surveys of galaxy cluster fields, and simulations for the next generation of facilities.

Downloads & Tools

Check out our downloads page for our spectral energy distribution fitting code, published datasets, animated plots, and more.