The Impact of Supermassive Blackholes on their Host Galaxies by Michael Cowley

Dr Michael Cowley has been invited to give the Arthur Page Memorial Lecture in 2020. This annual invited lecture honours the memory of Arthur Page, one of the founders of the AAQ as it is today.

Located at the centre of most massive galaxies, supermassive black holes are objects of extreme density up to billions of times more massive than our Sun. When matter falls into these monster black holes, huge amounts of energy is released, evidence of which is observed on scales far beyond the galaxy itself. It has long been suspected that this energy may be responsible for stopping galaxies from forming new stars, by heating or driving out its supply of star-forming gas. However, recent studies have pointed to the opposite possibility, where this energy flow can compress gas and trigger enhanced star-formation. In this talk, Michael will present results from his study, which aims to resolve this apparent contradiction by inspecting thousands of galaxies, observed using numerous ground- and space-based telescopes, from a 12 billion-year evolutionary perspective.

Michael is a lecturer and astrophysicist at the Queensland University of Technology and an adjunct research fellow at the University of Southern Queensland. His research interests are extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, including galaxy formation and evolution, star-formation and active galactic nuclei, the interaction of galaxies with their environment, multi-wavelength photometry, infrared spectroscopy, and spectral energy distribution modelling.

There is no cost for this event and visitors are welcome to attend.


16 May 2020


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Parnell Lecture Theatre 07-222


Parnell Lecture Theatre 07-222
Parnel Building, University of Queensland, St Lucia QLD 4067

Next Event


%d bloggers like this: