Scientific interests

Broadly speaking my research interests mainly focus in star formation in galaxies. This includes,

  • Star formation in spiral arms via large scale mechanisms such as density waves or self stochastic propagation (I have supervised several PhD Theses on this subject)
  • Star formation in early type galaxies
  • Evolution of the star formation and metallicity in the Universe via the OTELO project (see below)

OTELO Project

I am the Principal Investigator of OTELO (OSIRIS Tunable Emission Line Object Survey), a Key Project for the 10.4m GTC telescope using OSIRIS.

OTELO logo
OSIRIS logo.
OTELO logo.

OTELO will be the deepest (10-18 erg/cm2/s at 5&sigma level) emission line survey to date. With a sky coverage of 1 square degree, OTELO will measure more than 10.000 emission line fluxes of objects up to redshift 6.7 (equivalent to 10% of the age of the universe).

An auxiliary broad band survey of the same sky areas is currently under way using the prime focus of the 2.5m and 4.2m telescopes of the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos. This preparatory broad band survey will allow estimating approximate redshifts and determining morphological types of the targets to be detected with OTELO. The approximate redshifts will allow pin pointing the OTELO emission lines.

Addittional X-ray data (also under way) will allow discriminating AGNs of different types within OTELO sample, opening the relatively unexplored area of AGN evolution.

For nearby (up to z=0.4) OTELO targets, it will be possible to measure H&alpha separately from [NII]&lambda&lambda 658.4 nm. As a consequence, OTELO will allow more precise determinations of star formation rates and the study of metallicity evolution.

Finally, the combination with FIR data obtained using PACS and SPIRE instruments on board HERSCHEL satelite via the PACS Extragalactic Probe survey, a key project of guaranteed time that includes some OTELO fields, will allow a comparison of optical and FIR star formation rates, and an excellent determination of the differential internal extinction in star forming galaxies at large redshift.