Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Kinematic Signatures of Galaxy Evolution: The Energetics of AGN Outflows and The Accurate Identification of Merging Galaxies Public Deposited
  • Both galaxies and supermassive black holes grow and evolve over cosmic time. My work utilizes the kinematics of the stars and gas in galaxies to investigate some key processes that drive this evolution: Active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback and galaxy mergers. I will first present my work modeling AGN-driven biconical outflows and examine the potential for these biconical outflows to drive feedback that regulates star formation in their host galaxies. Then, I will focus on merging galaxies, and how progress in our understanding of galaxy evolution is slowed by the difficulty of making accurate galaxy merger identifications. My approach to improving the accuracy of galaxy merger identification involves using N-body/hydrodynamical simulations of merging galaxies to create mockup images and kinematic maps of galaxies that match the specifications of observational surveys. From these, I create a classification tool that identifies merging galaxies of different gas fractions, mass ratios, and merger stages. I will discuss the strengths and limitations of the classification technique and then my plans to apply the classification to Sloan Digital Sky Survey imaging as well as the >10,000 observed galaxies in the MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point) integral field spectroscopy survey. Through accurate identification of merging galaxies in the MaNGA survey, I will advance our understanding of supermassive black hole growth in galaxy mergers and other open questions related to galaxy evolution.

Date Issued
  • 2019-07-01
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Last Modified
  • 2022-12-13
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