My research interests focus on the structure, dynamics and evolution of late-type, disk-dominated galaxies from an observational perspective. Currently, I am pursuing two major, long-term research initiatives; 1) investigating environment-driven galaxy evolution using the extended atomic Hydrogen disks of galaxies as sensitive tracers of various astrophysical processes, and 2) determining the distribution of mass in spiral galaxies by analysing their rotation curves and stellar velocity dispersion. To achieve these goals, I have invested in the development and construction of two large instrumentation initiatives; I am co-PI of the new Apertif wide-field ‘camera’ on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, officially inaugurated in September 2018 and, after building the PPak Integral Field Unit (IFU) for the PMAS spectrograph on the 3.5m Calar Alto telescope, I have initiated the design and construction of the Large IFU for the new WEAVE instrument on the 4.2m William Herschel telescope on La Palma.
Apart from these long-term scientific research projects with Apertif and WEAVE, I maintain many international collaborations on various research projects, such as the Blind Ultra-Deep HI Environmental Survey (Budhies), the investigation of atomic Hydrogen in the ram-pressure tails of so-called jellyfish galaxies in the GASP survey, and the determination of the average Hydrogen gas content of galaxy populations in different cosmic environments and look-back times through the technique of HI stacking.
Furthermore, I participate in international collaborations that take advantage of other world-class facilities. Examples are the CHILES collaboration using the JVLA radio telescope in New Mexico, and the LADUMA and Fornax Cluster Survey collaborations that are gearing up to use the new MeerKAT radio telescope in the Karoo dessert in South Africa, a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array. My appointment as Adjunct Faculty at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics in Pune, India, facilitates collaborations to explore a follow-up programme with the recently upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) of galaxies selected from the Westerbork/Apertif Medium-Deep Survey.