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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto
Research Assistant Scholarship

Ref: CAUP2011-11UnF-BI

The Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) accepts applications for one research position in the field of galaxies, for the project The Bulgeless Side of Galaxy Evolution (PTDC/CTE-AST/105287/2008), with financial support provided by FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC).

Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the cornerstones of modern cosmology. The "classical" Cold Dark Matter structure formation models from the 1990s predicted that galaxies form purely hierarchically, big galaxies assembling via successive mergers of smaller ones. This would lead to the assembly of large baryonic masses only at z~1.
Our current lack of understanding the physics in bulgeless galaxies is obvious when considering the observed tight correlation between supermassive black hole (SBH) masses and host galaxy bulge properties. Currently unexplained, this correlation leaves little doubt that the formation and evolution of galaxy bulges is linked to the formation and evolution of BHs. Consequently, bulgeless galaxies should not be able to host an Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). And yet, several observations of AGN in bulgeless galaxies currently indicate that a classical bulge is not a requirement for a nuclear black hole. How to conjugate these observations with the BH - bulge correlation is still unknown.
Recognizing the significance of bulgeless galaxies, several groups have recently started to perform systematic studies of such objects in the nearby Universe. In this study we aim to take the research to the next level. Using the best and most extensive datasets available to probe the intermediate and distant Universe, we propose to perform the first systematic study of bulgeless galaxies at intermediate redshifts (0.4 < z < 1.0). This will allow us to determine the significance of bulgeless galaxies and bulgeless AGN when the Universe was less than two-thirds of its current age (5 Gyr in the past). Considered together with the nearby Universe studies, this will allow us to start understanding the evolutionary path of bulgeless systems within the overall galaxy formation and evolution scheme.

Scientific Field
Astronomy: Extragalactic Astronomy, Galaxies, Cosmology

The successful candidate will work on a well-defined, intermediate redshift sample of galaxies, gathered from four major surveys: COSMOS, AEGIS, GOODS and GEMS. The task will be to analyze the clustering properties and halo occupation distribution of the sample galaxies divided into morphological bins: pure disk galaxies, galaxies with a bulge and bulge-dominated galaxies.

Place of Research
The research will be formally based in CAUP/Porto under the supervision of Mercedes Filho and conducted in close collaboration with CAAUL (Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa) in Lisbon. The successful candidate is expected to spend some time in CAAUL.

Starting Date and Duration
The grant has a maximum duration of 1 year, starting no later than 1 January of 2012.

The monthly allowance will be €745, following the values set by the FCT/MCTES.

Eligible candidates should hold a Licenciatura in a relevant field: Astronomy, Physics or related fields and have a strong motivation and some expertise in the field of Cosmology.

Applications should consist of:
  • a letter of motivation;
  • the curriculum vitae;
  • the name, address and email of two referees.

Applications will be accepted from the 6–20 of December 2011.
Results will be communicated via email to the applicants. The applications, as well as any inquiries, should be directed to Mercedes Filho.

Selection Committee
Mercedes Filho (Chair)
Mário J. P. F. G. Monteiro
José Afonso
Ismael Tereno

Publication Date
November 21, 2011

The period for application submission has ended for this opportunity.