Natalie Allen

PhD Student

I am a first year PhD student at the Cosmic Dawn Centre. I received a first class honours in my integrated masters (MPhys) in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Sussex. Here I also undertook three summer research placements/internships, where I worked on a JWST proposal for parallel observations of high redshift galaxies, using NIRCAM. My masters work resulted in developing a pure python source extractor, named Automated Source Extractor and Photometry (ASEP) with the use of Numpy and Photutils. ASEP was then used to create a source catalogue of the sources in the HUDF/XDF. Here I learnt about the basics of source extractors and selection of high redshift galaxies with the use of colour-colour criteria.

During my PhD I hope to further build my knowledge of high redshift galaxies, galaxy evolution and the epoch of reionization. My work will allow me to study the most luminous, massive and rare galaxies in the early universe and their properties, morphologies and contribution to reionization.

The highest density regions of the Universe are expected to be the first to collapse in the early universe, and therefore be the sites for the formation of the first galaxies. The most massive and luminous galaxies are expected to form in these regions, and intense UV radiation from their young stars and from smaller galaxies in their vicinity is expected to carve out the first reionized bubbles in the overall neutral IGM.  Wide area surveys are needed to study these regions, which will hopefully lead me to work on data from Hubble, JWST, Euclid and Subaru/Hypersuprimecam.  I am excited for my next few years as a PhD student at DAWN and I can’t wait for the research I am able to produce.