The galaxy population we see today has distinctive features whose origins still need to be understood. One of the most fundamental features is the separation of galaxies into a bimodal colour distribution. The colour relates to the presence of ongoing star formation, with galaxies on the tight red sequence mostly passive systems containing old stars. By contrast, the galaxies in the broad blue cloud generally show ongoing star formation, and hence a younger, bluer, stellar population.

The majority of my research focuses on what role environment plays in how galaxies move within this distribution.

I am particularly interested in the most massive galaxies in the Universe, Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs). These galaxies represent the most extreme result of galaxy formation and trace the formation of large-scale structure in the Universe. They are thought to grow to their current mass from a large number of recent mergers driven by their position at the centre of galaxy clusters.

There is more information on my current research on my CURRENT PROJECTS page.

What you should know



I chaired the organisation committee of the first Australian Women in Astronomy Workshop held on Friday May 13th 2011 at CSIRO/CASS in Sydney. We have since held two more of these successful workshops with the fourth to happen in Canberra next year.  More information can be found on the ASA Women in Astronomy meetings page including reports on their outcomes.

image credit: Helen Sim