4MOST - 4-metre Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope
4-m Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope

Congratulations to Ása Skúladóttir

by Henri Boffin on 2023-09-06

Ása Skúladóttir

The 4MOST Project congratulates Ása Skúladóttir from the University of Florence for being awarded an ERC Starting Grant for her research project studying the origin of the Milky Way and its chemical elements. Ása is the Survey PI of 4DWARFS (4MOST survey of dwarf galaxies and their stellar streams) and this ERC Starting Grant will enable her to build a strong team to analyse the 4MOST data of her Survey.

"Like all larger galaxies, the present Milky Way was formed through a sequence of mergers of smaller dwarf galaxies over its lifetime," explains Ása. "Around our galaxy there are now dozens of known dwarf galaxies as well as 'stellar streams' – streams of stars that we think are associated with old dwarf galaxies that were destroyed during their interaction with the Milky Way."

Ása's ERC project, 'TREASURES', will combine data from Gaia and from the 4DWARFS Survey to study individual stars of various ages, thereby tracking the evolution of the Milky Way and its chemical enrichment throughout cosmic time. "The data," Ása further explains, "will also provide an opportunity to investigate the hierarchical formation of the Milky Way and provide the most complete overview of the evolution of dwarf galaxies, reconstructing their histories: from formation to disintegration."

Ása Skúladóttir is from Iceland. After obtaining her PhD in Astronomy in 2016 at the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen, she worked as a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany, from 2016-2019. She then joined the University of Florence, first as a post-doc, and since early 2021 as RTD-A (equivalent to an Assistant Professor).