Department of Astronomy & Physics
Congratulations to Dr. James Wurster who successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis, "Feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei: A Study of its Impact and Numerical Implementations" Supervisor Professor Rob Thacker. Committee: Professors David Clarke, Luigi Gallo, and Michael Balogh (University of Waterloo).
James's thesis investigated a number of different approaches to modelling the energy return to galaxies by active galactic nuclei. Using a suite of six different simulations approaches he showed that despite many people suggesting the M-sigma relationship of the black hole mass to stellar velocity dispersion is a strong constraint on models, in fact most models have distinctly different accretion histories despite matching the relationship. In a secondary investigation, modelling positive feedback, where the active galactic nuclei drive the formation of stars, James has shown that stars born in this manner are rapidly converted to rotating orbits in the galactic potential, making them difficult to discern from those formed in merger processes.
James will be starting a postdoctoral position at Monash University in Australia, with Dr Daniel Price, at the beginning of September.