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.