My research focuses on galaxy evolution. Specifically, I am interested in the connection between galaxy structure and galaxy evolution. I've studied the dependence of galaxy quenching on inner galactic structure of z~1 AEGIS galaxies, and now I am investigating the role of galaxy bars on galaxy evolution.
When I start my fellowship at IPMU, I'll be working on the MaNGA survey, an SDSS IV project that will provide resolved spectroscopy for 10,000 nearby galaxies.
Bars are thought to be the major drivers of secular evolution. They are also present in up to two thirds of the local disk population, suggesting that they significantly affect galaxy evolution, at least at z~0.
Using Galaxy Zoo 2, I've lead a project in which we searched for evidence of bar-driven secular evolution. Specifically, we explored the behavior of bars as a function of several parameters that are predicted to significantly affect bar-driven secular evolution. The above plot is Figure 3 from Cheung et al. 2013. It shows that the bar likelihood, i.e., the likelihood a bar exists, is related to the properties of a galaxy, indicating that the existence of bars are connected to galaxy properties.
Moreover, these trends match the predictions of bar-driven secular evolution, strongly supporting the theory of secular evolution. This implies that bars are important drivers of galaxy evolution. See Cheung et al. 2013. for more details.
The number of red sequence galaxies has doubled since z~1 while the number of blue cloud galaxies has remained relatively constant. A natural interpretation is that galaxies evolve from blue to red with time, i.e., from star forming to 'quenched.'
In Cheung et al. 2012, I led a project to discover what the underlying physical processes are behind quenching. While we were unable to identify the quenching mechanism, we were able to place strong constraints on the quenching process. We found that red and blue galaxies were best separated by the central stellar surface mass density (see above figure, which is Figure 7 from Cheung et al. 2012), suggesting that whatever quenches galaxies must also significantly increase the central stellar mass of galaxies.
Here is the list of my first author publications:
(Data: Single Sersic Catalog   Bulge Sersic = 4 Catalog   Bulge Sersic = 2 Catalog   README file )
And co-author publications:
I am a member of the following teams: