My science interests are focused on the formation and history of galaxies, and on what galaxies can tell us about the history of the universe. Galaxies are naturally complex ecosystems of gas, stars, and dark matter situated in equally complex environments. From the present-day isolated galaxy evolving without significance interference from other systems, to galaxies in groups and clusters, the study of these diverse systems probes a wide range of physics and physical conditions.
Much of my work has focused on nearby galaxies. Because of their proximity, nearby galaxies give us a detailed window into their history, acting like archeological time capsules. Not only do they allow us to probe different epochs of the cosmic time - including the earliest epochs of evolution - but they also allow us to study individual processes such as the formation of stars, the evolution of chemical elements, and the impact of star formation on the gas and structure of a galaxy.
© Kristen McQuinn Design: TEMPLATED. Image credit: NGC 4449, McQuinn, van Zee, Skillman