Dusty dying stars in galaxies in the Local Universe (Dr Jacco van Loon)
When intermediate-mass stars and most massive stars enter the final phases of their lives, they become red giants (AGB stars) or red supergiants. This phase is characterised by strong mass loss, with important consequences for the circumstances of their death (planetary nebula or supernova), accompanied by the production of dust grains. Thus, these stars are important drivers of galaxy evolution. They can be studied individually in nearby galaxies, out to several Mpc. Building on our pioneering, comprehensive work in the Local Group spiral galaxy M33 we are now expanding this programme to galaxies outside the Local Group, to include the grand-design spiral galaxy M101 and other galaxies such as NGC300 (an M33 analogue but with a different history). The goals are manifold: applying stellar evolution theory to convert observed populations of dusty evolved stars into star formation histories, and using the observations to constrain stellar evolution theory and to derive better prescriptions of mass loss and dust production. The project involves existing data as well as the pursuit of new observations, and the use of existing theoretical models
100% UK/EU tuition fees for 3 years commencing Academic year 2016/2017. Stipend support for three years at Research Council rates (2015/6 £14,057 per annum).
Jointly supported by STFC and the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Keele University.
UK residents are eligible for full funding (tuition fees and stipend at Research Council rate). EU nationals (who are not resident in the UK) will normally qualify for a fees-only award.
26th February 2016 in the first instance. Applications received by deadline will receive first consideration, applications received afterdeadline will be considered until the positions are filled.
Available from September 2016
Candidate profile please go to: http://www.keele.ac.uk/pgresearch/studentships/