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Bryan Terrazas

NSF & U-M Rackham Merit Fellowships | Galaxy Evolution | Advisor: Eric Bell

PhD Research: During his time at the University of Michigan, Bryan Terrazas studied the evolution of galaxies with stellar masses similar to that of the Milky Way by comparing and analyzing computational simulations and observations. The goal of his research was to better understand what characteristics of high-redshift galaxies can be observed in order to identify progenitors of a subset of galaxies at the current epoch. Specifically, he focused on exploring their merger histories, gas accretion rates, star formation rates, as well as their eventual formation into either quiescent or star-forming galaxies in order to understand how these mechanisms affect the resulting descendant galaxy population and the importance of black holes in this paradigm. An understanding of the sources of uncertainty with regard to growth histories will help clarify how to improve the agreement between models and observations. By looking at the evolutionary histories of Milky Way-mass galaxies, he hopes to establish a physical interpretation of observed properties for an important subset of the galaxy population, improving our understanding of how galaxies evolve through cosmic time.

Why Michigan?

Collaboration: “The graduate students here really come together, collaborating to make sure our voices are heard and included in the department. As a result, there’s a strong community and a healthy academic environment at Michigan.”