Institute of Astronomy


The Institute of Astronomy plans to host one large summer conference each year. Below is a list of upcoming and previous meetings at the IoA.

Upcoming & Recent Meetings

Modelling galaxies through cosmic times

14 September 2015 - 18 September 2015

Conference rationale

Our ability to interpret the spectral energy distribution (SED) of galaxies is key to understanding how the physical processes at play in galaxies govern their evolution. Over the past decades, numerous multi-wavelength surveys have been carried out, sampling the ultraviolet to sub-millimetre SED of galaxies from the Milky Way neighbourhood to very high redshifts. To connect this treasure trove to the formation and evolution of galaxies through cosmic times, we need to derive precisely and accurately key astrophysical properties of galaxies: stellar mass, metal content, star formation history, dust mass and temperature, star formation rate, dust obscuration, heating sources, etc. At the same time, major investments have been made to build physically motivated SED models of galaxies with the aim of measuring their physical properties as reliably as possible. The aim of this workshop is to bring observers and modellers together to present their respective approaches in building and interpreting the SED of galaxies. In particular, we will discuss:

  • the observed SED and the properties of galaxies: their evolution across cosmic times from the Milky Way to the highest redshifts,
  • the building blocks of SED modelling: stellar populations, interstellar dust, young embedded star clusters, AGN,
  • retrieving galaxy properties at various scales and redshifts by modelling their SED: radiative transfer and energy balance approaches,
  • bringing models and observations together: "observing" galaxies from numerical simulations and comparing with real observations.


Previous Meetings

New Horizons for High Redshifts

25 July 2011 - 29 July 2011

Topics to be covered:

  • High-redshift galaxy evolution & star formation
  • Hydrogen Reionization
  • Evolution and enrichment of the early IGM
  • High-redshift QSOs and AGN
  • Lessons from He II Reionization
  • Other probes of the z > 5 Universe

Invited speakers will include: Frank Bertoldi, Jamie Bolton, Rychard Bouwens, Joanna Dunkley, Richard Ellis, Steven Furlanetto, Piero Madau, Matthew McQuinn, Masami Ouchi, Dominik Reichers, Michael Shull, Brian Siana, Chris Willott and Saleem Zaroubi.

Meeting Website

DARKNESS VISIBLE: Dark Matter in astrophysics and particle physics

2 August 2010 - 6 August 2010

The Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, summer conference will focus on Dark Matter, bring together recent progress in astrophysical studies, direct and indirect detection experiemnts, and the LHC.

We invite applications for contributed talks and posters to fill an expanded format for the Darkness Visible meeting to be held at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge (UK). This meeting will bring together particle- and astro - physicists (theoretical, experimental and observational) to present recent advances in our understanding of dark matter at scales ranging from particle pysics to cosmology.

Meeting Website

Angular Momentum Transport and Energy Release in Accretion Discs

7 September 2009 - 8 September 2009

The aim of this conference is to bring together an outstanding group of young researchers to discuss theoretical and observational progress toward understanding accretion disc physics in Young Stellar Objects, compact binaries, and galactic nuclei.

Meeting Website

Putting Gravity to Work

21 July 2008 - 25 July 2008

Putting Gravity to Work: from black holes to galaxy clusters was a high energy astrophysics conference held at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, in celebration of Andy Fabian's 60th birthday.

Meeting Website

The Planet-Disc Connection

17 July 2006 - 21 July 2006

Observations of the later evolutionary stages of discs around young stars offer the best opportunity to study planet formation from an observational perspective. Localised clearing of dust and gas in discs can be inferred from a variety of imaging/spectroscopic diagnostics and is often interpreted as evidence for planet formation; alternatively, such clearing results from some other process which needs to be taken into account when assessing the environment in which planets form.

Meeting Website