Research

My research focuses on understanding how galaxy properties affect star formation in galaxies at z>1, with the ultimate goal of understanding the decline in global star-formation activity in the past 10 Gyr.

Satellite Quenching at high redshift

It is well known that environment plays an important role in shutting down star formation (or quenching) in dwarf galaxies. While many physical mechanisms (e.g. ram-pressure stripping, strangulation, starvation...) have been put forward to explain this process, observational evidence is only beginning to settle the question which of these effects are at play in low mass (M*~108 M) dwarfs in the local universe, and the relative importance of each effect. Observations of satellite-quenching in similar dwarfs at high-z provide an important piece of our understanding of the mechanisms at play during the decline in star-formation.

CO-H2 Conversion Factor

Molecular gas is the principal fuel in the star formation process, so understanding the molecular gas content of high-redshift galaxies goes a long way in building our understanding of this process at high-z. A crucial component of interpreting observations of molecular gas at high-z is the CO-H2 Conversion Factor (αCO) relating the observed CO luminosity to the molecular gas mass. Using data from the PHIBSS and COLD GASS programs, I have investigated the impact of metallicity and density on the galaxy-wide αCO.