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  • The Formation and Evolution of Globular Clusters in Cosmological Simulations

    Prof. Nate Bastian & Dr Rob Crain

    Globular clusters (GCs) are among the oldest luminous sources in the universe, bearing witness to the earliest stages of galaxy formation as well as their evolution to the present day. While GCs have played a pivotal role in our understanding of the assembly of galaxies, their full potential remains unfulfilled due to our lack of understanding of how they form and evolve.

    This project capitalises on the recent advances in our understanding of where GCs form and how the evolve, along with newest generation of high-resolution large scale (cosmological volume) hydrodynamical simulations of the formation and evolution of galaxies. The goal will be to include GCs inside the cosmological simulations, based on what we see in young massive cluster formation in nearby galaxies, and follow their evolution to the present day. We will then compare the detailed predictions of GC survival (and GC populations within galaxies) to state-of-the-art observational surveys of globular clusters in galaxies, as a function of environment and galaxy properties.

    The project is sufficiently broad in scope to accommodate multiple students, in both the theoretical/computational side, as well as on the observational side. The successful student will work in collaboration with the postdoctoral researcher Dr. Joel Pfeffer. This project is funded, in part, by a European Research Council grant obtained by Prof. N. Bastian.