Special Session SS6  5 July 2024

Chemical evolution in the era of JWST: from stars to galaxies

Aims and scope

The origin and build-up of chemical elements in the Universe is one of the most fundamental questions in modern astrophysics. Addressing this question requires the modelling of physics from the smallest scales of nucleosynthesis in stars to some of the largest scales of galaxy-scale dynamics and outflows. Thus, progress requires constraints from cutting-edge observational facilities to be met with the latest theoretical modelling across many different fields within astrophysics. The advent of JWST has revolutionised our ability to constrain galactic chemical evolution (GCE). JWST's instrument suite offers the opportunity to measure abundances of elements in stars, interstellar medium (ISM), and galaxies across cosmic history. Some of the elements are locked in a solid-state, and the presence of dust can be observed in all of these objects. The interpretation of the new observational results from JWST, as well as other current and forthcoming facilities (e.g., Gaia, WEAVE, 4MOST, MOONS, and ERIS), requires detailed modelling of many physical processes including nuclear and atomic physics, stellar evolution (evolution of single and binary stars), nucleosynthesis (hydrostatic and explosive nucleosynthesis), chemistry (formation and destruction of molecules and dust), and galaxy formation and evolution. The chemical evolution of the Universe encodes the imprint of all of these important processes. The key goal of this session is to bring together researchers from different fields who study the various astronomical objects that have shaped the chemical evolution of the Universe, bridging different physical and temporal scales. These include stars, supernovae/transients, ISM, and up to the most distant galaxies currently discovered. The session will represent a timely opportunity to discuss the results in this area from the first two cycles of JWST observations, as well as present the latest relevant theoretical work. Bringing the European community together and interfacing between each of these sub-fields is relevant to most effectively leverage synergies between the JWST and other current and forthcoming facilities of ESA and ESO.


  • Stars
    • Evolution of single and multiple stars
    • Stellar winds, supernova explosions, and the remnants
    • Nucleosynthesis
    • Chemical evolution of galaxies, including the Milky Way
    • Elemental abundances, isotopic ratios, and radioactive nuclei
    • Production and evolution of dust
  • Galaxies
    • Metallicities of/in the interstellar medium
    • Metallicities of/in stellar populations
    • Their elemental abundances and isotopic ratios

Invited speakers

  • Alessandro Bressan Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati
  • Annalisa De Cia European Southern Observatory
  • Vanessa Hill Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur
  • Andrew Bunker University of Oxford

Scientific organisers

  • Alex Cameron, University of Oxford, UK - chair
  • Mirko Curti, ESO, Germany - co-chair
  • Chiaki Kobayashi, University of Hertfordshire, UK - co-chair
  • Cristina Chiappini, AIP, Germany
  • Pascale Jablonka, EPFL, Switzerland
  • Marco Limongi, INAF-OAR, Italy
  • Maria Lugaro, Konkoly Observatory, Hungary
  • Mikako Matsuura, Cardiff University, UK


alex.cameron @ physics.ox.ac.uk

Updated on Fri Feb 23 16:40:53 CET 2024