Symposium S3  22 – 24 June 2015

Deconstructing Massive Galaxy Formation

Aims and scope

Observations of massive galaxies across cosmic history provide stringent tests of our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution, especially on the connection between the growth of the "backbone" dark matter structure and the baryon physics that produces the luminous component in the Universe.

We live in exciting times when large photometric and spectroscopic surveys comprising millions of sources are complemented by detailed, deep observations of targeted systems. On the theoretical front, simulations begin to reach levels of detail probing into the important sub-grid physics that links the growth of structure with galaxy formation. In addition, significant developments in the methodologies and models to infer relevant stellar population, chemical evolution and dust properties have enabled us to optimise the extraction of information from photometric and spectroscopic data. During this symposium, we will bring together the latest advances in our understanding of the formation and evolution of massive galaxies, with special emphasis on the observational side. The main subjects of this symposium can be encapsulated into the seven different blocks of the programme listed below.


  • Massive galaxies at high redshift: The view from star-forming systems
  • Massive galaxies at high redshift: The view from quiescent systems
  • Evolution of massive galaxies over cosmic time
  • The role of environment in galaxy formation
  • Spatially resolving the processes leading to the present day massive galaxy population
  • The non-universality of the IMF in massive early-type galaxies
  • Stellar population synthesis and galactic archaeology of unresolved populations

This symposium is complementary to the theoretically-driven Symp. S8 (What happened to the gas? Understanding the evolution of galaxies) and S7 (Worlds within particles: Representing supernovae and stellar populations in galaxy simulations )

Some of the talks of this symposium can be downloaded HERE.

Invited speakers

  • Michele Cappellari (Oxford)
  • Javier Cenarro (CEFCA)
  • Natascha Förster-Schreiber (MPE)
  • Francesco La Barbera (INAF/OAC)
  • Ivo Labbé (Leiden)
  • Anna Pasquali (ARI)
  • Daniel Thomas (ICG)
  • Ignacio Trujillo (IAC)

Scientific organisers

Ignacio Ferreras (UCL)
Alexandre Vazdekis (IAC)

Jarle Brinchmann (Leiden)
Stéphane Charlot (IAP)
Chris Conselice (Nottingham)
Elena D'Onghia (Wisconsin)
Jim Dunlop (ROE)
Anna Gallazzi (INAF/Arcetri)
Harald Kuntschner (ESO)
Reynier Peletier (Kapteyn)
Pablo Pérez-González (UCM)
Bianca Poggianti (INAF/Padova)
Patricia Sánchez-Blázquez (UAM)
Vivienne Wild (St Andrews)

Ignacio Ferreras (i.ferreras  @

Updated on Sun Jul 12 15:06:51 CEST 2015