In our current paradigm of cosmological structure formation, gravitational collapse during the Universe’s first billion years transformed a nearly homogeneous matter distribution into a network of gaseous filaments astronomers call the “Cosmic Web". Galaxy formation occurs within the densest parts of these filamentary structures and galaxy evolution is expected to be sustained and regulated by gas infall from the Cosmic Web or the Intergalactic Medium (IGM).

We study the "Cosmic Web" and associated galaxies both through theoretical/numerical modelling and observations with the most advanced astronomical instruments on 8-​10m class telescopes. In particular, we focus on the direct detection and study in absorption and emission of the baryonic component of the "Cosmic Web" - the Intergalactic and Circumgalactic media - in order to unravel the physical properties and the three-​dimensional morphology of Cosmic Structures and to address several fundamental questions:

  • How do galaxies form within the Cosmic Web? What are the physical conditions for the formation of stars within the early, potentially dark, proto-galaxies?
  • How do galaxies get their gas? What is the morphology and kinematics of the accreting gas and how does this affect the galaxy formation and evolution process?
  • What are the physical and morphological properties of the Cosmic Web? How does this compare to our understanding of cosmological structure formation in the universe and what does it tell us about the nature of Dark Matter?

For more information about our research activities, methodologies and results see our Publication List