Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Kathryn Kreckel obtains Emmy Noether Research Group

Dr Kathryn Kreckel (Photo: G. Thimm)

A new Emmy Noether Research Group at the Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH) (Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University) will start working on resolving the baryon cycle in nearby galaxies on Oct. 1, 2019. The new research team, led by Kathryn Kreckel, will focus on understanding the physics regulating the transformation of gas into stars and eventual ejection and recycling of that material to form the following generation of stars. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has allocated 1.7 million euros to fund the group which will be located at ZAH’s Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI) over a period of six years.

Kathryn Kreckel will exploit a rich collection of optical integral field spectroscopy (IFS) of nearby galaxies to identify and characterize the ionizing sources of the interstellar medium (ISM). "I will connect these small scale physical processes to the large scale evolution of disk galaxies" explains Dr Kreckel who works within the <link https: typo3 external-link-new-window internal link in current>PHANGS collaboration and the <link https: future external-link-new-window internal link in current>SDSS-V/LVM project as major sources for her research plans.

Since 2011 Dr Kreckel has been a postdoc at MPIA, using optical integral field spectroscopy to study nearby (D<20 Mpc) galaxies. Her work has covered a broad range of topics around the theme of ISM physics, with key results in the area of starburst driven winds, cold dust in the ISM, and star formation. In her use of different IFS instruments combined with multi-wavelength data, she has led end-to-end projects that combine raw data and photoionization models to extract physical conditions for different processes affecting the ionized gas.

Her most recent work was carried out within the PHANGS collaboration which is observing galaxies with ALMA, the VLT/MUSE, and HST in order to understand the interplay of the small-scale physics (about 50 to 100pc) of gas and star formation with galactic structure and galaxy evolution. Finally, she currently acts as Survey Scientist for the <link https: future lvm external-link-new-window internal link in current>Local Volume Mapper, a project within SDSS-V that will carry out an IFS survey of the Milky Way and Local Group galaxies to directly probe physical scales below 20 pc from which the global correlations arise, and witness the physics of galaxy formation at the “energy injection scale”.

The Emmy Noether Programme gives exceptionally qualified early career researchers the chance to qualify for the post of professor at a university by leading an independent junior research group for aperiod of six years.

Dr Kathryn Kreckel is the first female Emmy Noether Research Group leader at the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University.

Dr Kathryn Kreckel
Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH)
c/o Astronomisches Rechen-Institut

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