Institute of Astronomy


Announcement for the first Cambridge Kavli Workshop “Modelling galaxies through cosmic times”, 14-18 September 2015.

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 fundamental 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 (keynote speakers Steve Eales and Roberto Maiolino),
  • the building blocks of SED modelling: stellar populations, interstellar dust, young embedded star clusters, AGN (keynote speakers Bruce Draine, Claudia Maraston, and Ralf Siebenmorgen),
  • how to retrieve galaxy properties at various scales and redshifts by modelling their SED: radiative transfer and energy balance approaches (keynote speakers Maarten Baes and Denis Burgarella),
  • how to bring models and observations together: “observing” galaxies from numerical simulations and comparing with real observations (keynote speakers Robert Crain and Vivienne Wild).

The meeting will take place September 14 to 18 at the Institute of Astronomy and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology in the beautiful city of Cambridge (United Kingdom), thanks to the generous funding from the Kavli Foundation and from a grant from the Templeton Foundation held by Prof. Martin Rees. The programme will feature keynote talks by recognised leaders in the field, offer opportunities for contributed talks, include hands-on sessions, and have ample discussion time to foster exchanges among participants.

We strongly encourage the participation of PhD students and young postdocs interested in SED modelling. A registration fee of £100 will be charged to all attendees, and will cover the workshop dinner, welcome package, and tea and refreshments during the breaks. For PhD students and young postdocs, we will offer single room (with shared bathroom) accommodation in Churchill College at a discount rate of £50 for the full five-day duration of the workshop. Other attendees will be asked to book their own accommodation, and will be provided with a list of possible lodging facilities, including en-suite rooms in nearby colleges or conference centers from £50 to £100 per night, as well as a list of hotels in the city centre of Cambridge (£100-£150 per night).

Due to the limited available space (up to 60 participants), we request that all interested participants send in an abstract (talk or poster) or a brief statement of interest to by the 15th of June 2015. PhD students or postdocs who would like to benefit from the subsidised accomodation at Churchill College are asked to make their interest in the package known by the same date. Additional information can be found on the website, .

Any question? Please contact us at

On behalf of the organising committee,

Médéric Boquien & Ilse De Looze

Page last updated: 17 April 2015 at 09:23