PhD in Astrophysics 2007-2011, Swinburne University of Technology Victoria, Australia; Thesis title : The Assembly and Chemical Evolution of Nearby Early-type Galaxies
MSc with Physics Concentration 2005-2007, Bishops University Quebec, Canada; Thesis title : The Size and Distribution of Cosmological Voids in the SDSS
BSc with double major in Physics and Mathematics 2002-2005; Bishops University Quebec, Canada
My name is Dr Caroline Foster (most people just call me Caro) and I am an astronomer within the School of Physics. I am originally from Quebec (la belle province), Canada. I did my BSc in physics and mathematics and an MSc in astrophysics at Bishop’s University (Quebec, Canada). I completed my PhD at Swinburne University (Melbourne, Australia) in 2011. I am currently an ARC Future Fellow and Scientia Senior Lecturer at UNSW.
My research interests have broadly focused on the formation and chemical enrichment of various structures in the universe. My research has led to the development of innovative techniques to exploit 3D spectroscopy data from the largest scales, cosmological voids, down to much smaller structures, globular clusters.
I am also a fierce diversity advocate and a keen outreach/public speaker/author.
The spin of galaxies is slowing down and nobody really knows why. This dynamical transformation is predicted by theoretical simulations, but different simulations disagree on its exact causes and their relative importance. Until recently, the data required to map the gas and stars in galaxies during the transition and identify its root causes in galaxies around 3-4 billion years ago were critically lacking. My Future Fellowship project leverages on the Middle Age Galaxy Properties with Integral field spectroscopy (MAGPI) survey, a large programme on the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. This dataset is designed to directly detect and address this important unknown. By comparing MAGPI with local surveys (e.g. SAMI and Hector) and using redshift surveys such as GAMA and DEVILS, I am identifying the key physical drivers for the morphological and dynamical transformation of galaxies across cosmic time.
ARC Future Fellowship 2021, 2021-2025, "Time takes its toll: understanding why galaxies slow down as they get older"; C. Foster, Australian Research Council; $727,000AUD
ARC Discovery Project 2021, 2021-2024, “Beacons in the night:” unveiling how galaxies light up dark matter; C. Lagos, A. Robotham, A. Ludlow, C. Foster, T. Yuan, T. Mendel, A. Tiley, J. Schaye, R. Bower; Australian Research Council; $645,000AUD
ARC Discovery Project 2019, 2019-2021, Ultra-faint signatures of galaxy growth seen through the cosmic haze; L. Spitler, J. Dawson, C. Foster, D. Zucker; Australian Research Council; $330,000AUD
NSERC Graduate Scholarship, 2006-2007, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, $17,300CA
European Southern Observatory Large Program 2019-present; The Middle Age Galaxy Properties with Integral field spectroscopy (MAGPI) survey; Cash equivalent ~$3.4M AUD (https://magpisurvey.org)
Best Thesis University Award 2011, Swinburne University
My Research Supervision
I am the primary supervisor for PhD candidates R. Bagge and Z. Aliakbarzadeh, and honours student F. Pal.
I have supervised 11 undergraduate and acted as co-supervisor for 3 PhD students.