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

LSST UK Multi-Wavelength Data Fusion Workshop

25 September 2017 - 27 September 2017

A workshop to bring together experts interested in combining multi-wavelength data from X-ray, infra-red, millimeter and radio surveys with optical data from LSST. We will discuss the challenges of combining key multi-wavelength datasets from surveys with UK leadership (e.g. XMM-Newton, VISTA, Euclid, Herschel, LOFAR, SKA) with the LSST data. We will put together a plan for bench-marking and testing existing algorithms as well as developing new methodology for data-fusion that will be relevant in the LSST era.

Meeting Website

The Laws of Star Formation: From the Cosmic Dawn to the Present Universe

2 July 2018 - 6 July 2018


This is a conference in honour of Prof. Robert Kennicutt. It will be held at the Institute of Astronomy and the adjoining Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge (UK) from Monday July 2th to Friday July 6th, 2018.

Registration is now open.

Scientific rationale:

The coming of age of many facilities and new instrumental capabilities, including ALMA, JWST, VLT/MUSE, etc., and the continuous stream of ground-breaking results from HST, Spitzer, Herschel, and others, has ushered a new era for the investigation of star formation in galaxies. As we inch our way into the formulation of a predictive theory of star formation, we are now in a position to relate the newly formed stars to their natal gas at all scales, from giant molecular clouds up to entire galaxy populations, in present-day galaxies back to the dawn of cosmic time. Observational studies linking molecular gas mass to star formation activity are crucial to shape our understanding of the physical processes that drive the conversion of gas into stars, and to identify the dominant positive/negative feedback processes that trigger and quench star formation in a wide variety of galactic environments. Balancing these physical processes over time, galactic disks self-regulate their level of star formation and become galactic ecosystems, in analogy to many other ecosystems observed on earth. This conference will bring together experts on all aspects of star formation to assess the progress made so far, compare achievements in different areas, and lay the ground for future directions. Among the goals is to bring together different communities and to discuss the role of planned and future facilities in unraveling the link between star formation and gas in galaxies.

The major themes of this meeting are:

* The star formation law in different gas phases (LSB, HSB, atomic or molecular gas). (Non-)linearity of the star formation law.

* Triggering (dynamics, environment, instabilities) and quenching mechanism of star formation  (morphology, AGN, stabilizing bulges, environment effects in gas stripping, or starvation)

*  Self-regulation of star formation through positive/negative feedback processes (SN, AGN, ...)

* Star formation at small scales: What drives the small-scale substructure of star formation in galaxies? What threshold holds for SF in different regimes?

* Cosmic evolution of star formation: starbursts census with redshifts

Confirmed invited speakers

Angela Adamo  (Stockholm University)
Joao Alves (University of Vienna)
Frédéric Bournaud (Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay)
Clare Dobbs (University of Exeter)
Bruce Elmegreen (IBM T.J Watson Research Center)
Neal Evans (University of Texas) 
Natasha Förster Schreiber (Max-Plank-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik)
Diederik Kruijssen (Universität Heidelberg)
Mark Krumholz (Australian National University) 
Adam Leroy (Ohio State University)
Margaret Meixner (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Sally Oey (University of Michigan)
Ying-jie Peng (Peking University)
Amelie Saintonge (University College London)
Eva Schinnerer (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)
Stefanie Walch (University of Cologne)
Fabian Walter (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)


Daniela Calzetti (co-Chair)
Ilse De Looze (co-Chair)
Maud Galametz (co-Chair)
Monica Relaño-Pastor (co-Chair)
Gustavo Bruzual
Françoise Combes
Andy Fabian
Timothy Heckman
Linda Tacconi
Serena Viti
Anthony Whitworth

We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge to an exciting and vibrant meeting full of discussions and new ideas.



Previous Meetings

BritGrav 14 @Cambridge

31 March 2014 - 1 April 2014

The 14th BritGrav (British Gravity) Meeting will be held on 31 March – 1 April 2014
at the University of Cambridge in St Catharine's College.

The meeting covers all areas of classical and quantum gravity, including astrophysics, cosmology, mathematical general relativity, gravitational wave data analysis and instrumentation. It is intended to bring together the entire gravitational research community to further collaboration and allow young researchers to showcase their work.

LSST@Europe: The Path to Science

9 September 2013 - 12 September 2013

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project is at an exciting phase, with first light planned for 2019 and science operations to start in 2021. This major conference will bring together LSST and European scientists to consider the scientific opportunities of LSST, its current status, the role of European expertise and facilities in partnership with LSST, and the science challenges.

Meeting Website


8 July 2013 - 12 July 2013

We are planning to host up to 150 registered participants and the main focus of the conference will be on theoretical and numerical modelling of physical processes relevant for galaxy formation. The programme is designed to be of scientific interest to non-numericists who want to learn about the scientific issues surrounding galaxy formation and evolution.

We aim to have participants from different scientific communities and extensive discussion of theoretical and numerical challenges will provide a common ground for close interaction.

Meeting Website

Towards the science case for E-ELT HIRES

13 September 2012 - 14 September 2012

ESO has recently released an Instrumentation Roadmap for the E-ELT that foresees a high-resolution spectrograph either as  Instrument Nr.4 or Nr.5. The optimal balance of the major science drivers for such an instrument need still to be defined. The aim of the workshop is to (further) define the science cases and science requirements for E-ELT HIRES, by bringing together people interested in the matter. This should be a rather informal meeting of about 50 participants.

Meeting Website

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