Jose Manuel Perez

img_20160216_144656PhD student
Although I have broad interest in astronomy and astrophysics, my work is currently focused on the evolution of the physical properties of galaxies in clusters at high redshift. Field galaxy evolution is based on the hierarchical growth of objects and the declining of star formation due to the consumption of gas over cosmic time. However, dense environments strongly influence the evolution of galaxies introducing cluster-specific interactions that are related with the increasing number density of galaxy towards the central regions of the cluster, the density of the intracluster medium or the structure of the cluster. Mergers, tidal interactions, ram pressure stripping, harassment and starvation superposed on the field evolution hasten and strengthen galaxy evolution in clusters, although the role each specific mechanism plays in this task and which one is predominant remains an open question.

In my Phd thesis I use VLT data to study how star-forming galaxies are affected by living in clusters across cosmic time. In particular, the study of galaxy kinematics is of special relevance in my project considering that it traces the state of the baryonic component (unveiling possible interactions) while at the same time it can provide information about the dark matter content of the galaxy through the extraction of regular rotation curves and the subsequent analysis of their flat part. For this reason, scaling relations such as the Tully-Fisher and Velocity-Size are very important quantitative tools to reveal subtle evolutionary effects that combined with the study of galaxy stellar populations and star formation activity enlarge our knowledge of galaxy evolution in clusters.