[ASA] Postdoctoral position in Granada

michelle cluver michelle.cluver at gmail.com
Sun Sep 2 18:37:35 AEST 2018

*Postdoctoral contract --*  The outskirts of isolated galaxies: study with
deep optical images and HI interferometric data

*Institution*: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Granada,

*Contact: *Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro (lourdes at iaa.es)

*Application closing date:* Full consideration will be given to all
applications submitted before 15th September, but the position will remain
open to applicants until it is filled.


The AMIGA (Analysis of the interstellar Medium of Isolated GAlaxies,
http://amiga.iaa.es) group at IAA-CSIC in Granada is looking for candidates
to fill a postdoc position in the context of a Spanish national grant to
work with Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro on the study of outskirts of isolated
galaxies by means of deep optical images and HI interferometric data.

The AMIGA project has spent the past decade studying and refining a
well-defined control sample of isolated galaxies, a necessity for any
statistical study of the effects of environment on galaxy properties and
evolution. As a result it represents one of the most well-defined samples
of isolated galaxies, with an extensive compilation of
multi-wavelength observations. The ~1000 AMIGA galaxies have been found to
have low values of tracers typically associated with interactions, even
when compared to field galaxy samples. Hence the AMIGA galaxies are well
suited for witnessing the effects of cold gas accretion, since
interactions, and thus gas accretion from companions, are minimized in
these galaxies.

One such tracer that is generally thought to be enhanced by galaxy-galaxy
interactions is the HI spectral asymmetry. Indeed our AMIGA sample of very
isolated galaxies shows the lowest values of HI profile asymmetry so
far, based on HI single dish observations (Espada+ 2011). However, some
significant asymmetries are still found in galaxies with neither tidal
features nor companions in our VLA-HI resolved studies. The question is
whether these are due to external accretion/undetected minor interactions
or can they arise from internal/secular processes. The yet unexplored faint
stellar outskirts of isolated galaxies are ideal to constrain models of the
formation/persistence of asymmetries. For this reason the AMIGA project has
gathered deep optical observations of isolated galaxies from AMIGA sample
(about 30 galaxies mainly with the INT at La Palma, VST at ESO and 2.2m at CAHA)
together with HI interferometric data (VLA, GMRT).

*Job duties:*

The selected candidate will work on reducing and analyzing
the aforementioned set of deep optical images, with the goal
of reaching very low SBs in order to search for tidal streams, arcs or
shells as footprints of the galaxy formation or past interactions,
determine the shape of the radial surface brightness profiles and
investigate the correlation between fine stellar substructures and the shape
of profiles and/or HI asymmetries. Hence good expertise in dealing with the
challenges associated to deep imaging of galaxies is required. Additional
expertise in radio-interferometry would be ideal, since the candidate will
have the opportunity to analyse HI interferometric data in collaboration
with the team. However, this is not mandatory, since our existing team has
extensive experience in this area and would train an otherwise suitable
candidate to work with these data.

*Host environment:*

The AMIGA PI coordinates the Spanish participation in the SKA project since
2011 (in June 2018, Spain became the eleventh Member of the SKA
Organisation). In addition, the team participates in SKA in different
aspects. *Science*: AMIGA science is aligned with one of the key SKA
Science drivers, the study of the atomic gas (HI) in galaxies, and the
AMIGA PI (Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro) is a co-Chair of the SKA HI Science
Working Group. Two postdoctoral researchers are currently working as part
of AMIGA team at IAA. *Technological development*: AMIGA is member of
the international
consortium designing the SKA Science Data Processor, the H2020 project
AENEAS for designing the federated network of European SKA Regional Centres
(SRCs) and the ESCAPE H2020 project that aims to address the Open Science
challenges shared by ESFRI facilities.

The IAA-CSIC has very recently obtained the Center of Excellence Severo
Ochoa distinction, an accreditation that recognizes the centers that carry
out cutting-edge fundamental science and are among the best in the world
in their area. They stand out for their high competitiveness, their
ambitious strategic plans, high quality production and great capacity to
attract talent. Endowed with a budget of one million euros per year for
four years, the distinction is part of the Subprogram of Institutional
Strengthening of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and
Innovation. As part of the Severo Ochoa project presented by IAA, a
prototype of SKA Regional Centre fully engaged with Open Science
was included, and theAMIGA team will be in charge of coordinating the
associated developments.

*Job conditions:*

The expected starting date is as soon as possible before the end of
the calendar year, with an initial duration till 31st December
2019, and with good chances to extend it further. Funds for traveling to
conferences or stays in other centres, and informatics equipment are


Candidates interested in this position should send a
CV, including publication record, a statement of their motivation and
qualifications for the job (1-2 pages) as well as the contact email of 2-3
reference persons to Lourdes Verdes-Montenegro (lourdes at iaa.es).  Please do
not hesitate to contact her with any questions related to the job.

Dr Michelle Cluver
ARC Future Fellow, Senior Lecturer
Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing
Swinburne University of Technology
PO Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia
+61 3 9214 3484
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