Overcoming Great Barriers in Galactic Archaeology 2

Alamanda at Palm Cove, Queensland, 27-30 May 2014

Photo of a beach at Alamanda Resort at Palm Cove

This workshop will bring together key international players in the rapidly growing field of galactic archaeology - the study of the history of our Milky Way Galaxy and the Local Group using large-scale surveys of the velocities and physical parameters of stars.

This is a field that has recently undergone a revolution in the amount of data available to astronomers. The completed RAVE survey of stellar radial velocities carried out at the Australian Astronomical Observatory has collected data on more than a quarter of a million stars, while the SEGUE survey at the Sloan Telescope is similarly advanced. Within 5-10 years, however, even these data sets will be eclipsed by the billion-star measurements of the GAIA spacecraft.

This meeting will address the major questions facing galactic archaeologists today. What was the sequence and process of formation of the Galaxy? What can we learn from substructures identified in the disc and halo of our Galaxy? How do galactic bulges form? Can we find examples of the first stars in our Galaxy, and how do they relate to the formation of the metal-poor galactic halo? How is the chemistry of stars related to their ages? And, most fundamentally, what can our Galaxy tell us about the validity of our cosmological standard model (and thus the nature of dark matter and dark energy) on small scales?

In order to arrive at a consensus on these issues, potentially creating a milestone in the field, we plan to bring together by invitation approximately 40 of the leading researchers in galactic archaeology in a workshop forum at a major Australian resort.

The timeliness of the meeting is reflected in the large-scale surveys recently completed (especially the RAVE survey on the UK Schmidt telescope, AAO), together with others that are just beginning (SkyMapper, LAMOST, GAIA-ESO Survey, APOGEE and the HERMES instrument to carry out the GALAH survey on the Anglo-Australian Telescope). Space missions such as Europe's GAIA and Japan's JASMINE will yield massive new datasets within the next decade. We stand at a significant moment in the development of galactic astronomy that rivals the leap in precision cosmology resulting from large-scale redshift surveys and the exploration of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

This workshop will provide a unique forum in which our current knowledge can be assessed, and future strategies defined. The workshop format will be relaxed, with a generous afternoon break, to allow delegates and their families to enjoy the tranquillity of Palm Cove. There will also be a specially arranged reef trip on the Saturday after the workshop (31 May).

Numbers attending the workshop will necessarily be limited, and attendance will be by invitation. Note that all costs are quoted in Australian dollars.


Registration closed for this workshop on 20 March 2014.

Scientific Organising Committee

  • Elizabeth Wylie-de Boer (ANU - Chair)
  • Gayandhi de Silva (AAO)
  • Sofia Feltzing (Lund Obs)
  • Zeljko Ivezic (U. Washington)
  • Sarah Martell (AAO)
  • Ivan Minchev (AIP)
  • Kim Venn (U. Victoria)
  • Dan Zucker (Macquarie U.)

Local Organising Committee

  • Fred Watson (AAO - Chair)
  • Helen Woods (AAO)
  • Simon O'Toole (AAO)


Please direct all enquiries to the Local Organising Committee (palmcove2014@aao.gov.au). 

A PDF version of the final program can be downloaded via this link. Presentations will be available here throughout the meeting. 

Tuesday 27 May 2014 - Survey Science and Theoretical Predictions
9:45 Welcome and Introduction Fred Watson, Elizabeth Wylie de Boer
10:00 The First Galaxies: Stellar Populations and their Role in Reionization [PDF]

John Wise – KEYNOTE

10:45 On the origin of the variations of elemental abundance ratios [PDF] Chiaki Kobayashi
11:15-11:45 Morning tea
11:45 Kinematic modelling of the Milky Way using the RAVE and GCS stellar surveys [PPT] Sanjib Sharma
12:15 Predictions for Galactic Archeology from Numerical Modeling [PDF] Ivan Minchev
12:45-14:00 Lunch
14:00 The structure of the Milky Way as seen by RAVE [KEY] Matthias Steinmetz

First Galactic Archaeology Results from APOGEE [PDF]

Jo Bovy
15:00 The Gaia-ESO Survey: What have we learnt so far [PDF] Clare Worley

GALAH Overview [PDF]

Elizabeth Wylie de Boer
16:00 COFFEE & DISCUSSION Chiaki Kobayashi & Elizabeth Wylie de Boer
Wednesday 28 May 2014 - Chemical tagging – precision and sites
09:00 Observational evidence of multiple stellar populations in globular clusters     Anna Marino – KEYNOTE 
09:45 Galactic Archaeology and Galactic GLobular clustErs (GAGGLE) David Yong
10:15 The s-Process Enrichment of M4 and M22 [PDF] Luke Shingles
10:45-11:30 Morning Tea
11:30 Nucleosynthesis in helium-enriched AGB models [PDF]  Amanda Karakas
12:00 The second parameter problem of the HB of Globular Clusters [PDF] Antonino Milone
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30 3D and NLTE analysis for large stellar surveys [PPTX] Karin Lind - KEYNOTE
14:15 COFFEE & DISCUSSION Karin Lind & David Yong
Relaxed afternoon
Thursday 29 May 2014 - The Originals
The original stars
10:15 Galactic archaeology to its limits - Understanding the most pristine stars [PDF] Else Starkenburg – KEYNOTE
11:00 Searching for the oldest stars [PDF] Stefan Keller
11:30 The AEGIS Follow-up of SkyMapper Targets [PPTX] Timothy Beers
12:00 CEMP Stars [PDF] Catherine Kennedy
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00 Discovery of the oldest stars in the Galactic bulge [PDF] Louise Howes
14:30 The Bulge seen through micro-lensed dwarf stars [PDF] Sofia Feltzing
15:00 The Battle of the Bulge: What is the formation history of the Milky Way? [PPTX] Quentin Parker
15:30 COFFEE & DISCUSSION Sarah Martell & Sofia Feltzing
Friday 4 April 2014 - Us and The Others
Milky Way Structure
9:00 Are the globular clusters with significant internal [Fe/H] spreads all former dwarf galaxy nuclei? [PDF] Gary Da Costa
9:30 Globular clusters as tracers of halo formation [PDF] Sarah Martell
10:00 Exploring the orbits of the stars from a blind chemical tagging experiment [PPTX] Borja Anguiano
10:30 Studies of circumstellar and interstellar matter with spectroscopic surveys Tomaz Zwitter
11:00 Morning tea
11:30 Other Galactic Archaeology with HERMES: Leading-edge Astronomy (OGALAHLA) [PDF] Daniel Zucker
12:00 Mapping the Spectra of the Southern Sky with FunnelWeb [PDF] Chris Tinney
(Extra)galactic Archaeology
12:30 From the Milky Way to Andromeda: A PAndAS View of Galactic Halos [PPTX] Brendan McMonigal
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00 Galactic Archaeology in Andromeda [PDF] Karoline Gilbert
14:30 A plethora of substructure: the view from the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey [PDF] Nick Bate
15:00 3D PAndAS and a Disc of Dancing Dwarfs Anthony Conn
15:30 COFFEE & DISCUSSION Joss Bland-Hawthorn & Daniel Zucker

List of registered participants 

No. Name Affiliation
2 Tomaz Zwitter University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
3 Gary Da Costa RSAA, ANU
4 Quentin Parker MQ/AAO
5 Matthias Steinmetz AIP
6 Elizabeth Wylie de Boer RSAA
7 Clare Worley Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
8 Ivan Minchev AIP
9 Ken Freeman RSAA/ANU
10 Karin Lind Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University
11 Sofia Feltzing Lund Observatory
12 Borja Anguiano Macquarie University
13 Nick Bate SIfA, School of Physics, University of Sydney
14 Brendan McMonigal SIfA, School of Physics, University of Sydney
15 Else Starkenburg University of Victoria, Canada
16 David Yong RSAA/ANU
17 Catherine Kennedy Australian National University
19 Anthony Conn University of Sydney
20 Amanda Karakas RSAA, ANU
21 Fred Watson AAO
22 John Wise Georgia Tech
23 Timothy Beers NOAO
24 Karoline Gilbert Space Telescope Science Institute
26 Stefan Keller ANU
27 Jo Bovy Institute for Advanced Study
30 Sanjib Sharma University of Sydney
32 Anna Marino RSAA, ANU
34 Daniel Zucker Macquarie University
35 Chris Tinney UNSW
36 Chiaki Kobayashi Univ of Hertfordshire
37 Helen Woods Australian Astronomical Observatory
38 Ken Freeman RSAA/ANU
39 Luke Shingles Australian National University
40 Louise Howes
41 Antonino Paolo Milone Australian National University
42 Sarah Martell UNSW
43 Jeffrey Simpson Macquarie University
44 Colin Navin Macquarie University
45 Elaina Hyde Macquarie University
46 Carlos Bacigalupo Macquarie University

Angsana Resort logo
Photo of beach at Angsana

Blissful Sun, Surf And Spa

Nestled in the gorgeous Palm Cove village just 20 minutes north of Cairns, Australia, Angsana Great Barrier Reef is paradise redefined for nature lovers.

Located at the doorstep of the world's longest coral reef and oldest rainforest, the resort is the only one in Palm Cove to enjoy absolute beach frontage to the spectacular Coral Sea that leads to the Great Barrier Reef.

There are few times in the world when natural and man-made ingredients are mixed together with a gentle hand to create a special location that is the mirror of paradise. Palm Cove, in Tropical North Queensland Australia, is one of these locations - a glorious beachside community bursting with fun activities and luxury accommodation for holiday makers, yet still retaining a relaxed seaside atmosphere with sensitive levels of development.

The best thing is that the Angsana is only metres away from a lazy village where you can buy goods and meals at prices far more reasonable than that at many island resorts. 

Getting There

To get to Palm Cove, regular flights are available to Cairns from all Australian Capital cities with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue. Once arriving at Cairns, designated coach transfers will be organised for you to Palm Cove at a discounted price of $19.80 per person one way. Alternatively, you can organise your own transfers by private car. You will need to provide us with correct and up to date information about your flights for us to transfer you. The cost of $19.80 per person each way will be invoiced separately to you on receipt of your booking form.

Accommodation And Suites

Two Bedroom Pool View Suite

Exquisitely designed, the roomy Two Bedroom Suite comes complete with full kitchen amenities to offer the familiar feeling of home after all the excitement of the day. Setting a decadent ambience is an inspiring pool, beachfront views and spacious patios.

We have organised two bedroom suites at the Angsana which are large and will allow two delegates to share comfortably. Two separate bedrooms with bathrooms allow for perfect privacy.

One Bedroom Pool View Suite

Should you prefer to have freedom to relax in your own private room, we are happy to cater for your request. A limited number of one bedroom apartments will be made available on a first come first serve basis.

Photo of 1 Bedroom suite at Angsana Resort

Beachfront Rooms

If you would like to upgrade your room to a beach front and enjoy the delights of having the water lap at your door, please make us aware of your request when booking and we will endeavour to accommodate your request as per the costs below.

Photo of Beachfront suite at Angsana Resort

The following rates have been negotiated by the AAO for delegates to the Workshop:


One Bedroom Suite

- Single/Double - $245 per room/night

Two Bedroom Suite

- Twin Share - $160 per PERSON/night


One Bedroom Suite

- Single/Double - $305 per room/night

Two Bedroom Suite

- Twin Share - $190 per PERSON/night

Meals And Restaurants

A full buffet Breakfast has been included for you to enjoy each morning of your stay. Alternatively you may choose to take advantage of kitchen facilities in your suite. Lunch for delegates has been included on conference days.

There will be a conference dinner on the evening of Wednesday 28 May. Cost including drinks will be $110 per person.

Off Port Douglas - Saturday 31 May, 2014

NEW! People going on the Reef Trip can find more information in this document.

We are organising a cruise on the Great Barrier Reef at the end of the workshop. Subject to numbers, we expect to leave from Palm Cove by coach to Port Douglas, where we will board our vessel. We will experience a cruise which will include the opportunity to snorkel and dive. Cost including lunch, morning and afternoon tea, transfer and reef tax will be $231 per person.

Just off the boat view the "bommies" (coral outcrops) which come to just 1 metre under the surface - great for snorkeling. View a beautiful coral garden - lots of different colours, staghorn, boulder coral and soft corals. Many species of reef fish, sea-cucumbers and giant clams. Turtles and black-tipped reef sharks (totally harmless and very timid) are a common sight. Humpback Whales also love to spend time around here from May to September and they are a spectacular sight when they breach (jump out of the water) they are very gentle inquisitive creatures.

Palm Cove 2014 workshop photo

Workshop photo for the Overcoming Great Barriers in Galactic Archaeology 2 workshop held May 27-30, 2014 at Alamanda Resort, Palm Cove.

The full resolution version of this photo can be download via this link (3.8MB).

The workshop is supported by the following institutions: