My Work

I currently work on my PhD at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) where I study the interplay between large hot gas reservoirs within galaxy clusters -- known as the intra cluster medium (ICM) -- and the cold gas located in and around galaxies. In my thesis, I further explore non-conventional detection methods, such as Bayesian-forward-modelling techniques in the uv-plane, to analyze astrophysical processes associated with the ICM.

This work is a natural extension of the research done in my Master theses. There, I experimented with another non-conventional detection method, namely a matched filter applied in the uv-plane, that resulted in the first detection of HCO+(4-3) in a z>2 dusty star-forming galaxy. In my other Master thesis, I created toy models and mock observations of galaxy clusters based on the hydrodynamical simulation BAHAMAS. With these models and mock observations, I studied the effects of gas clumping in the ICM on the position of a galaxy cluster in the Luminosity-Halo mass relation.

All my studies allowed me to combine my brought astronomical interests -- from observational cosmology to high-resolution observations of the centres of galaxies -- with my technical programming skills I developed over the last few years.

Master Theses

At Leiden University

  • A Needle in a Haystack (Supervised by M. Rybak is & J. Hodge):

Detecting dense gas tracers in the z=3, gravitationally lensed SMG, SDP.81 through a matched filter in the uv-plane.


  • Enabling Precision Cosmology with Galaxy Clusters (Supervised by H. Hoekstra & S. Debackere):

An idealized study on how gas clumping affects the X-ray luminosity with the use of semi-analytical modeling.


Current Projects

  • Studies on the ICM astrophysics and its an impact on the multifaceted

processes driving galaxy evolution:

  • The Strongest cool core in REXCESS: Missing X-ray Cavities in RXC J2014.8-2430? (Tony Mroczkowski, Megan Donahue, Joshiwa van Marrewijk et al., in prep)

  • The impact of sloshing and surrounding pressure distribution on the morphology of the gas in the BCG of the brightest cool core cluster: RXC-J2014.8-2430. (Joshiwa van Marrewijk, Tony Mroczkowski, Luca di Mascolo, Gergö Popping, et al., in prep)

  • Studies on the origin of extreme star busts galaxies at high-z:

      • Monsters with empty bellies? Low dense-gas fractions in high-z

dusty star-forming galaxies (M. Rybak, J. Hodge, J. van Marrewijk et al., in prep)


  • SZ view of galaxy clusters across the transition phase for environmental quenching. (PI: L. Di Mascolo)