How the Milky Way and other spiral galaxies formed and evolved
The origin and long-term evolution of stars and stellar systems are two of the great questions in modern astronomy. In particular the formation and evolution of galaxies from the very early ripples in the density distribution to the present day galaxies has attracted much effort, both observational and theoretical. The Local Group galaxies provide rich study material for chemical and dynamical evolution of stellar systems of varying complexity.
Our research falls broadly into two categories: space astrometry (Gaia and Hipparcos) and studies of elemental abundances and dynamics of the stars in stellar systems, both observationally and theoretically.
We are heavily involved in two major European spectroscopic endeavours: the Gaia-ESO Survey (PIs: Gerry Gilmore and Sofia Randich) conducted with the FLAMES spectrograph on the VLT and the 4MOST spectrograph for Gaia follow-up (PI: Roelof de Jong).