A number of sub-areas fit under the broad research theme of galaxy evolution. The areas in which our group is active are outlined below:

Neutral hydrogen and dark matter content in nearby galaxies

Neutral hydrogen (HI) is the ideal probe to study dark matter in individual galaxies since it can probe the gravitational potential to larger radii than the stars. The new radio telescopes being built in South Africa (KAT-7, MeerKAT and the SKA) will allow us to detect much fainter HI and hence to get a better handle on the elusive dark matter component. Already, our group is active in many projects which are underway on the KAT-7 telescope and is getting ready for MeerKAT.

KAT-7 HI Observations of NGC 253

KAT-& HI Observations of NGC 253
Combined WISE (red) + FUV (purple) + X-rays (yellow: Rosat) + HI contours (white) of the moment 0 map. The contours correspond to 1.3, 2.6, 5.2, 10.4, 20.8, 41.6 ,83.2, 166.4, 253.3 10**19 cm**-2.

Prof Claude Carignan (SKA SARChI chair)
Prof Tom Jarrett (NRF SARChI chair)
Dr Bradley Frank (lecturer)

Affiliated Staff:
Prof Erwin de Blok (Honorary Professor at UCT) - based at ASTRON (NL)

Postdoctoral fellows:
Dr Maria Kapala (SARChI postdoc)
Dr Ed Elson (NRF/Multi-wavelength postdoc)
Dr Yannick Liebert (SARChI postdoc)
Dr Nathan Deg (SARChI postdoc)

Postgraduate students:
Marie Korsaga, PhD (co-supervision with Université Marseille-Provence)
Moses Mogotsi, PhD (co-supervision with ASTRON & ICRAR)
Toky Randriamampandry, PhD
Amidou Sorgho, PhD
Blaise Tapsoba, PhD (co-supervision with SAAO)
Brenda Namumba, PhD (co-supervision with SKA SA)

Selected recent papers by the group:
- Estimating non-circular motions in barred galaxies using numerical N-body simulations - Randriamampandry, Combes, Carignan, Deg
- KAT-7 science verification: cold gas, star formation, and substructure in the nearby Antlia Cluster - Hess, Jarrett, Carignan, Passmoor, Goedhart
- H I observations of the nearest starburst galaxy NGC 253 with the SKA precursor KAT-7 - Lucero, Carignan, Elson, Randriamampandry, Jarrett, Oosterloo, Heald
- KAT-7 Science Verification: Using H I Observations of NGC 3109 to Understand its Kinematics and Mass Distribution - Carignan, Frank, Hess, Lucero, Randriamampandry, Goedhart, Passmoor
- Kinematics and mass modelling of M33: Hα observations - Kam, Carignan, Chemin, Amram, Epinat
- Development of a 4k×4k frame transfer electron multiplying CCD for scientific applications - Gach, Carignan, et al.

Investigating galaxy evolution over cosmic time and in different environments

This research theme includes two of the MeerKAT Large Survey Projects: LADUMA (one of two priority 1 MeerKAT legacy surveys) and MIGHTEE.

Artist's impression of the MeerKAT telescope. Image credit: SKA SA


Artist's impression of the MeerKAT telescope

The LADUMA (Looking At the Distant Universe with the MeerKAT Array) survey aims to make the deepest observations of neutral hydrogen in emission before the SKA comes online. These observations will measure the evolution of the gas content in galaxies over half the age of the Universe in order to probe galaxy evolution over cosmic time. Current work in this area is focussing on preparing for the survey by developing and testing analysis algorithms and methods and testing them using simulations.
The MIGHTEE (MeerKAT International GigaHertz Tiered Exploration) survey is a deep radio continuum survey which will investigate the relation of star formation to the growth of supermassive black holes as well as study galaxy evolution by detecting galaxy clusters as a function of look-back time in the Universe.

Prof Tom Jarrett (NRF SARChI chair)
Prof Renee Kraan-Korteweg (Head of Department)
Dr Sarah Blyth
Dr Kurt van der Heyden

Postdoctoral fellows:
Dr Ed Elson (NRF Multi-wavelength fellow)

Postgraduate students:
Mr Scott Badenhorst (MSc, joint with Computer Science)
Mr Christopher Schollar (MSc, joint with Computer Science)

Selected recent papers by the group:
- Comparison of H I and optical redshifts of galaxies - the impact of redshift uncertainties on spectral line stacking Maddox, Hess, Blyth, Jarvis