Welcome to the
gas, metals, and dust in galaxies group!
Our team (list here) is founded by the SNSF through a PRIMA grant.
Gas has a fundamental role in the formation and evolution of galaxies, the building blocks of our Universe. The chemical elements in this gas are key for the formation and evolution of stars, cosmic dust, molecules, planets, and life. But gas is faint and elusive to observe. Absorption-line spectroscopy is an incredibly powerful tool to investigate the gas, metal, and dust content inside and around galaxies, both in the local and distant Universe. However, understanding the chemical abundances in the neutral gas has been a great challenge until recently, because of the presence of dust grains.
In our team we overcome this challenge by studying the relative abundances of chemical elements, and and use this to study the properties of the metal and dust components in the neutral gas in galaxies, from our Milky Way to the very distant Universe. Importantly, this includes low-mass distant galaxies, which are the most numerous but are typically missed in flux-limited studies. And this has strong implications on the study of the chemical evolution of galaxies and the cosmic chemical evolution.