= Research Profiles - L Parker 
Research Profiles - L Parker
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January 2012

Dear Prospective Graduate Student

I am an observational astronomer and I study the link between the luminous and dark matter content in galaxies. I'm interested in unraveling some of the mysteries of galaxy formation and evolution.

One of the research tools I use is called weak gravitational lensing. With gravitational lensing we can estimate the dark matter content in objects (galaxies, galaxy groups, large scale structure). The ultimate goal of this work is to understand the connection between the observed properties of galaxies and the properties of the dark matter halos in which they reside. This allows us to compare observations directly to simulations of structure formation, and can give us clues to important processes in the evolution of galaxies.

In addition to lensing work I am also generally interested in observational galaxy evolution studies. I'm a member of several survey projects that collect large statistical samples of galaxies to large distances (when the universe was ~half its current age), using wide-field optical and near-infrared data from the ground and from space observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope. I'm actively looking for enthusiastic students interested in observational cosmology and galaxy evolution 

Please contact me at if you think this is a research area you might be interested in!

Laura Parker



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