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25th of August 2017
ATNF Colloquium
Star formation, Mergers and the Assembly of Stellar Mass in Galaxies
by Luke Davies (UWA)
Abstract. Since the first stars and then galaxies formed the Universe has been an immense factory converting neutral gas into stellar material. The distribution of this stellar material is key to our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution as it is the primary baryonic component we can observe in galaxies over the last 13Gyr. However, the changing distribution of stars at a given epoch is dependant on many different processes such as: i) in-situ star-formation rates, ii) merger rates, iii) the neutral gas reservoirs available for future star-formation episodes, iv) the effect of galaxy-galaxy interactions on both star-formation and neutral gas content and v) AGN activity. These processes occur in different measures to all galaxies over the history of the Universe, ultimately resulting in the distribution of stellar material we see today. If we wish to understand the assembly of stellar mass in the Universe we must aim to probe all of these process, and build a complete and consistent picture of their interplay over cosmic timescales.

I will discuss recent results from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, probing the assembly of stellar mass though both in-situ star formation (as traced by multiple SFR indicators) and interactions (both mergers and interaction induced star-formation) - in galaxies spanning ~4 decades in stellar mass. I will discuss upcoming HI surveys which are aligned with the current state-of-the-art multi-wavelength, spectroscopic surveys - allowing us to simultaneous probe both star-formation and neutral gas reservoirs in a consistent and statistically robust sample of galaxies. Lastly, I will discuss how large spectroscopic surveys of the coming decade, such as the Deep Extragalactic Visible Legacy Survey (DEVILS) and Wide Area VISTA Extragalactic Survey (WAVES), will help revolutionise our understanding of the assembly of stellar mass is galaxies.

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