I am a PhD student working with Martin Haehnelt at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.

My research focuses on the ionization state and metal enrichment of the intergalactic medium during reionization. To do this, I use hydrodynamical and radiative transfer simulations to model observations of quasar absorption lines.

The high-redshift intergalactic medium in absorption

My research is concerned with modelling the intergalactic medium during the epoch of reionization. At this redshift, approaching the tail-end of reionization, the increasing neutral fraction of the IGM makes traditional methods of using the Lyman-alpha forest to study large scale structure challenging. However, alternative probes of the gas ionization state are available to us. I use cosmological simulations to interpret these observations of absorption line systems in the spectra of high-redshift quasars.

My interests include

  • Near-zones of z > 6 quasars
  • Metal enrichment of the IGM
  • Testing feedback models with the high-z IGM

As current and upcoming surveys return observations of new z > 6 QSOs, an unprecedented insight into the metallicity and ionization state of the high-redshift IGM will become available. Careful modelling will be crucial for making the most of this rich dataset.

My research is supported by an Isaac Newton Studentship, the Cambridge Trust and STFC.



2013 - present: PhD candidate, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

2012 - 2013: MASt in Astrophysics, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

2008 - 2012: BA in Theoretical Physics, Trinity College Dublin


Testing the effect of galactic feedback on the IGM at z ~ 6 with metal-line absorbers, Laura C. Keating, Ewald Puchwein, Martin G. Haehnelt, Simeon Bird, James S. Bolton, 2016, MNRAS, Volume 461, Issue 1, p.606-626

Probing the end of reionization with the near-zones of z > 6 QSOs, Laura C. Keating, Martin G. Haehnelt, Sebastiano Cantalupo, Ewald Puchwein, 2015, MNRAS, Volume 454, Issue 1, p.681-697

Probing the metallicity and ionization state of the circumgalactic medium at z ~ 6 and beyond with OI absorption, Laura C. Keating, Martin G. Haehnelt, George D. Becker, James S. Bolton, 2014, MNRAS, Volume 438, Issue 2, p.1820-1831

Contributed Talks

What Matter(s) Around Galaxies, Durham, UK, (June 2017)

Lifecycle of Metals Throught the Universe, Baltimore, USA (April 2017)

From Wall To Web, Berlin, Germany (July 2016)

Illuminating the Dark Ages: Quasars and Galaxies in the Reionization Epoch, Heidelberg, Germany (June 2016)

Cosmic Dawn of Galaxy Formation, Paris, France (June 2016)

Cosmic Reionization (MIAPP workshop), Garching, Germany (April 2016)

IAUS 321: Formation and Evolution of Galaxy Outskirts, Toledo, Spain (March 2016)

Olympian Symposium on Cosmology and the Epoch of Reionization, Paralia Katerini, Greece (May 2015)

Lyman Continuum Leakage and Cosmic Reionization, Stockholm, Sweden (August 2014)

Intergalactic Matters, Heidelberg, Germany (June 2014)