Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is undoubtly one of the greatest challenges of modern astronomy. An exquisite detailed analysis of nearby and distant galaxies is now possible with the increasing amount of observational data coming from large facilities. Quality spectroscopic data is also becoming more common for galaxies up to z ~ 1. Despite the growing observational evidence, currently there is not yet a consensus on how the high-z samples are transformed into the local population of galaxies due to the intrinsic complexity of galaxy formation mechanisms. The most favoured paradigm suggests that the formation and evolution of galaxies is the result of a complex combination of hierarchical clustering, gas dissipation, merging and secular evolution.
A complex star formation history, as the one expected to describe galaxy evolution, needs a multidisciplinary approach to be fully understood. Our group at the IAC consist of experienced researchers in cosmological simulations, dynamical studies, stellar populations and morphological properties of galaxies up to redshift z ~ 3. The combination of the different approaches will allow us to explore the dominant mechanisms driving the cosmic evolution of galaxies.
On what follows we describe the three main research lines conducted in our group:
- Stellar population synthesis models
- The cosmic evolution of galaxies
- Secular processes in nearby galaxies