Exploring the Nature of the Main Sequence of Star-Forming Galaxies over Cosmic Time

Large extragalactic surveys have shown that there is a strong correlation between the star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass of "star-forming" galaxies, referred to as the "Main Sequence of Star-Forming Galaxies" (see above Figure, left), that evolves as a function of cosmic time. The behaviour and scatter of these relationships provide important constraints and insights into the nature of galaxy evolution. However, previous studies that have examined this suffer from two serious issues: (1) they typically rely on distances to galaxies that are inferred from photometry, referred to as a photometric redshift, and the uncertainties on these estimates are not incorporated into the constraints on the SFR and stellar mass, (2) they typically rely only on rest-frame ultraviolet to near-IR photometry for the SFR and stellar mass constraints, which can introduce biases and uncertainty due to the adopted treatment for dust attenuation. You will utilise a state-of-the-art code (MAGPHYS+photo-z; Battisti et al. 2019), designed to model the spectral energy distribution (SED) of galaxies and constrain their photometric redshift and physical properties simultaneously and self-consistently (see Figure, right), on large extragalactic datasets to characterise the behaviour of the Main Sequence as a function of cosmic time.

This project will provide you with expertise in the analysis of large multi-wavelength datasets and SED modeling that are highly desired skills in the field. You will also gain knowledge of new astrophysical software and improve your coding ability. For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.