The most massive galaxies of the early universe contain at least as many stars as the Milky Way, but their stars are packed into volumes thousands of times smaller. Theoretical models predict that as the universe matures, these dense systems will grow by merging and interacting with other galaxies. As Canada Research Chair in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Dr. Ivana Damjanov is probing the relationships between galaxy size growth, changes in their stellar dark matter content, and their position in the universe.
She and her research team are probing whether the way that galaxies grow changes depending on their location with respect to the cosmic web. They are constructing sample galaxies with merging signatures and quantifying the interactions that shape them. They are also delving into the co-evolution of cluster members and their dark matter halos. Their work will trace the simultaneous evolution of luminous and invisible matter throughout the second half of cosmic history.