Director's Colloquium

Galaxy formation and evolution in 3D

Professor Lisa Kewley
Director, CAASTRO 3D

Tracing matter and chemical elements in the Universe is critical for understanding the formation of the first galaxies, the formation and growth of supermassive black holes, and ultimately the evolution of galaxies like our Milky Way. Throughout the history of the universe, large-scale gas flows have moulded the arms of spiral galaxies, formed the bulges of the most massive galaxies in the universe, fed supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies, fueled generation upon generation of new stars, and enriched the intergalactic medium with metals. The physics and impact of these processes can now be traced through new efficient, wide-field 3D integral field spectrographs.

We use multi-object integral field spectroscopy to build the largest local sample of galaxies with wide 3-dimensional imaging spectroscopy. We combine our local results with insights into the early universe probed through gravitational lensing and adaptive optics. I will present the latest results from our large local and high-redshift 3D surveys to understand the relationship between gas inflows, galactic-scale outflows, star-formation, chemical enrichment, and active galactic nuclei in galaxies. I will finish by discussing how this field will be transformed through the ASTRO 3D Centre of Excellence as we transition to the era of extremely large ground and space telescopes.

Lisa Kewley is a Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the Australian National University. Lisa obtained her PhD in 2002 from the Australian National University on the connection between star-formation and supermassive black holes in galaxies.  She was a Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Fellow and a NASA Hubble Fellow.  Her awards include the 2006 American Astronomical Society Annie Jump Cannon Award, the 2008 American Astronomical Society Newton Lacy Pierce Prize, and the National Science Foundation Early CAREER Award.  In 2014, Lisa was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science “for her fundamental advances in understanding of the history of the universe, particularly star and galaxy formation”, and in 2015, was awarded an ARC Laureate Fellowship, Australia’s top fellowship to support excellence in research. Lisa is currently implementing her scientific vision through her Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in All-Sky Astrophysics in 3D (CAASTRO-3D).  CAASTRO-3D combines Australia's radio and optical ground-based telescopes with international 8-10m telescopes and world-wide super-computing facilities to understand the formation and evolution of matter, ionizing radiation, and chemical elements in the Universe.

Date & time

Mon 21 May 2018, 2–3pm



Lecture Theater


Staff, students and public welcome