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Lowell Observatory has an opening for a PhD student with an interest in star formation in galaxies who is ready to work on a PhD dissertation. This position will be dedicated to working on an NSF-supported project to characterize molecular gas and star formation in dwarf irregular galaxies.
The low metallicities found in dwarf irregular galaxies profoundly affect the structure of molecular clouds. In addition, molecular cloud formation is expected to be difficult in these galaxies because of the low gas densities. This is an opportunity to contribute to our understanding of molecular clouds in low metallicity environments like those found in the early universe and to our understanding of star formation in the most numerous galaxy type in the universe. This project will address the questions: 1) What are the galactic environments in which star-forming clouds form at low metallicity? 2) How does dark gas inferred from dust and HI emission relate to molecular cloud cores visible in CO and to star formation? 3) What effect does the different structure of molecular clouds have on the star formation products in these galaxies? 4) Is star formation taking place in the extreme conditions of outer stellar disks?
The candidate will work in a collaborative mode with Hunter, contributing scientifically to the project, and as part of a team of international collaborators. This will be a multi-wavelength, in-depth study of the Local Group galaxy WLM for which the team has ALMA, Herschel, and FIR data of CO cores, photo-dissociation regions, and dust emission, as well as data obtained as part of LITTLE THINGS, a study of a sample of nearby dwarf irregular galaxies. In addition, observations have been allocated with Spitzer to map the entire stellar disk to unprecedented depth and extent. There is also the potential for proposing for additional data to take the collaboration in new directions.
See http://www2.lowell.edu/users/dah/littlethings/index.html for more information about LITTLE THINGS.
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS
PhD Students are expected to be enrolled in a PhD granting graduate program and in good academic standing, having completed the required institutional coursework and qualifying examinations, or pending near completion of such. Throughout the duration of the PhD Student Program, the student will remain enrolled at the home institution and will graduate with the PhD degree from that institution. Students must have approval from their home institution before initiation of the application process.
The PhD Student is expected to work predominately on the Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff, AZ with possible observing at the Lowell DCT telescope and travel to work with team collaborators and attend meetings.
Instructions on how to apply can be found on the job positing on our employment page https://lowell.edu/about/employment/
The deadline for full consideration is December 1st 2019, but the position will remain open until filled. Applications should be sent to email@example.com