University Of Western Australia
Research Field: Astrophysics
Galaxies in the early Universe were very different to the ones we see today. The first galaxies were relatively simple systems, consisting of similar types of stars and gas. As the Universe evolved, so did these galaxies, changing into the diverse array of structures we observe today, such as our own Milky Way.
There are various factors that drive these evolutionary processes, such as a galaxy’s local environment (where it lives), its available supply of gas to fuel star formation, its structure and the presence or absence of a super massive black hole. It is the varying contribution of these factors over cosmological timescales that determine a galaxy’s properties at the current point in time.
Dr Davies uses some of the world largest telescopes to measure the properties of millions of galaxies over the last 10 billion years of cosmic history. Using these measurements, he explores the factors that affect galaxy evolution and piece together a model for how the simple systems that existed 10 billion years ago have evolved into the complex systems we see today like our own Milky Way.