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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 Census of Photometrically Selected Little Red Dots at 4 < z < 9 in JWST Blank Fields

A high black-hole-to-host mass ratio in a lensed AGN in the early Universe

A STRAEUS: IX. Impact of an evolving stellar initial mass function on early galaxies and reionisation

Cold dust and low [O iii]/[C ii] ratios: an evolved star-forming population at redshift 7

Metal and dust evolution in ALMA REBELS galaxies: insights for future JWST observations

Most of the photons that reionized the Universe came from dwarf galaxies

Reaching for the stars – JWST/NIRSpec spectroscopy of a lensed star candidate at z = 4.76

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Research Minute Young Academy - Pratika Dayal