Interview with Emily Freeland

Emily Freeland is one of the OKC fellows that joined the Oskar Klein Center after the summer. I asked her to tell us a bit about her research to get to know her better.

Hi Emily and welcome! Can you tell us a bit of yourself? Where are you from?
I am from the US. I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, did my graduate work at the University of Wisconsin with Eric Wilcots, and my first postdoc with the newly formed astronomy group at Texas A&M University with Kim-Vy Tran.

What is your field of research?

The main theme that runs through the majority of my research is an exploration of the role that environment plays in galaxy evolution. The universe has a filamentary structure and these filaments are populated by individual galaxies and groups of galaxies. The group environment is the most common environment in the local universe so characterizing its influence is an important part of understanding the physical processes affecting the majority of galaxies.

Isolated galaxies tend to be disky, gas-rich, and currently forming stars. At the other extreme, galaxy clusters contain thousands of galaxies, many of which are red in color, ellipsoidal in shape, and not forming new stars. Galaxy groups span the range of properties intermediate between isolated galaxies and clusters. In our hierarchical universe, galaxy groups are the building blocks of galaxy clusters and as such we would like to understand to what extent galaxy morphologies and star formation rates are transformed in the group environment prior to their assembly into clusters.

Hickson Compact Group 92 (Stephan's Quintet) - discovered by Edouard Stephan in 1877 this is the first compact galaxy group ever discovered and the most studied. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team.
With these questions in mind I’ve studied the neutral hydrogen content of galaxies in groups, used radio sources with bent jets to probe the density of the intergalactic gas in groups, and examined the viability of ram pressure stripping in this environment as a mechanism to remove cold gas from large and small galaxies. I’ve been able to show that there are significant reservoirs of baryons in the form of warm intergalactic gas in galaxy groups and ram pressure from their movement through this gas will strip the neutral gas from dwarf galaxies. I collect and analyze data at many different wavelengths including radio, optical, and X-ray observations.

How do you like working at the Oskar Klein Centre?

I like the diverse range of research that occurs within and around the centre, especially if you include Nordita and the astrobiology and solar physics groups. I also like that there are a lot of postdocs.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I used to have hobbies like reading books, gardening, sleeping, traveling, watching movies. Now I have two children.

What do you think of Stockholm?
I love Stockholm! I love the trains and the recycling and the preschools and the social benefits and the architecture and the parks and the pastries. I’m hoping for lots and lots of snow this winter.

and snow it is! Thank you Emily!

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