Laura Parker
Laura Parker
ABB 350

Laura Parker 640x192

My research interests lie in the general area of observational cosmology and galaxy evolution. I am most interested in the processes of galaxy and structure formation and I work on problems related to the relationship between observed, luminous galaxies and the dark matter halos that host them.

Some specific problems we're currently working on include: the dynamics and dynamical evolution of galaxy group systems, the dark matter halos of galaxies in different environments, the growth of central galaxies in groups and clusters, how group galaxy properties depend on the X-ray properties of the host group.

Prospective students? please read my letter to prospective graduate students, and feel free to contact me.

Observational studies of galaxy evolution, galaxy groups and clusters, and dark matter halos.

  • Astronomy/Origins 2B03: The Big Questions
  • Astronomy 3X03: Galaxies and Cosmology
  • Astronomy 4X03: Astrophysics Data Analysis Project Course
  • PHYS 762: Graduate Introductory Astronomy II
  • PHY 768: Graduate Observational Cosmology

Dear Prospective Graduate Student,

I am an observational astronomer interested in how galaxies form and evolve. My group uses imaging and spectroscopic data from ground- and space-based observatories at many wavelengths to measure the properties of galaxies. We are particularly interested in the role that environment plays in galaxy evolution and so we study large populations of galaxies living in dense regions like galaxy groups and clusters. Using large samples of galaxies, we are trying to understand the physical mechanisms driving galaxy transformations over cosmic time.

Students in the group work on a diversity of projects ranging from constraining the amount of cold, star-forming gas that is stripped from galaxies when the fall into a cluster to comparing observed galaxies to those in state-of-the-art cosmological simulations.

In recent years much of our work has focussed on the local universe, where there are large sample of galaxies with multi-wavelength observations available, but with new facilities in the coming years we intend to extend our studies to more distant systems that we see when universe was a much younger and more active place.

I'm actively looking for enthusiastic students interested in galaxy evolution and observational cosmology. Please contact me at lparker@mcmaster.ca if you think this is a research area you might be interested in!

Laura Parker

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Physics & Astronomy