Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Practical matters How to find us P. (Pratika) Dayal, Prof

Research interests

My main research interests lies in Galaxy formation in the first billion years, a time of great upheaval in the history of the Universe. As the first sources of light in a dark Universe, these galaxies ended the ‘cosmic dark ages’ and produced the first photons that could break apart the fragile hydrogen atoms suffusing all of space starting the process of ‘cosmic reionization’. The primary building blocks of all structure, these galaxies determine the physical properties of all subsequent galaxy populations. Indeed, the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of modern astrophysics, the earliest galaxies are critical to understand the beautifully complex Universe we see today.

My main goals are to learn:

  • - how the inextricably interlinked processes of galaxy formation and reionization drive each other
  • - if reionization observations, possible with the forthcoming Square Kilometre Array (SKA), can be linked to the physical properties of the underlying galaxy population
  • - more about the nature of the elusive Dark Matter that makes up 80% of the matter content in the Universe

To this end my research group is developing a coherent theoretical framework for modelling galaxy formation in the first billion years of the Universe combining state-of-the-art simulations of structure formation, a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation and numerical radiative-transfer codes. This work is supported by my ERC starting grant (DELPHI) and a NWO VIDI grant (ODIN).


Early galaxy formation and its large-scale effects

The physics of the fundamental metallicity relation

Early Galaxy Formation in Warm Dark Matter Cosmologies

A Large Population of Faint 8 < z < 16 Galaxies Found in the First JWST NIRCam Observations of the NGDEEP Survey

Astraeus - VI. Hierarchical assembly of AGN and their large-scale effect during the Epoch of Reionization

astraeus - VIII. A new framework for Lyman-α emitters applied to different reionization scenarios

Astraeus VII: the environmental-dependent assembly of galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization

Astraeus V: the emergence and evolution of metallicity scaling relations during the epoch of reionization

Astrophysics with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna

Cosmology with the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna

Read more


Research Minute Young Academy - Pratika Dayal