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Richard de Grijs

Richard de Grijs

Richard de Grijs is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Astronomy (University of Cambridge) in the United Kingdom. His main research interests focus on the evolution of nearby spiral and starburst galaxies, with particular emphasis on the formation and evolution of the
associated star cluster systems in these galaxies. He is currently involved in a large project to disentangle environmental effects from intrinsic properties of the distribution of stellar masses in a number of compact star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the nearest dwarf galaxies to the Milky Way. This is based on Hubble Space Telescope observations by Gerry Gilmore, with whom he closely collaborates on the analysis of the data.

Until October 2000, prior to moving to Cambridge, Richard held a Research Associate position at the University of Virginia, where he collaborated with Bob O'Connell (and Jay Gallagher) on a detailed study of the young (super) star clusters found in the nearby, prototype starburst galaxy M82 (see STScI press release PRC01-08, March 7, 2001). They concluded that the multitude of young star clusters found throughout the disk of M82 were most likely formed due to a close encounter (and therefore a violent gravitational interaction) with the galaxy's large neighbor M81, some 500 million years ago.

It was, however, his Ph.D. research (Ph.D. 1997, University of Groningen, the Netherlands) on the structure and evolution of highly-inclined spiral galaxies that made him join forces with the HST mid-UV team. His Ph.D. thesis sample of about 50 "edge-on" galaxies forms an integral part of the overall galaxy sample from which the HST mid-UV team sample was selected. He continues to work in this field of research, but is now more interested in the properties of dust in galaxy disks and the interplay among the various stellar populations in the disk and in star-forming regions.