Professor Michele Cappellari Homepage

Voronoi 2D-Binning
Voronoi binning (4 colors)
Postal Address:
JAM modelling
University of Oxford
Denys Wilkinson Building
Keble Road
Oxford Michele
Voronoi binned myself
Office: 755 (top floor)
Phone: +44-1865-273-647
Synthetic CV: I obtained my Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of Padova. I was awarded a VENI Fellowhsip by NWO at the University of Leiden and an Advanced Fellowship of STFC at the University of Oxford, where I am now a Professor of Astrophysics and a Royal Society University Research Fellow

Current Interests

See my review on galaxy structure and evolution:

Annual Review
Cappellari et al. (2012)
Figure 1: Differentiating between the stellar and dark matter with integral field stellar kinematics and JAM dynamical models. This analisys allowed us to discover a systematic variation of the stellar Initial Mass Function in early-type galaxies. Read about this finding in our Nature Letter or in some news coverage about it.
Cappellari et al. (2011)
Figure 2: Replacing the handle of Hubble's tuning fork. Read about the discovery behind the proposed change in our paper or in some news coverage of our finding.
Circular Velocity
Figure 3: The dark matter conspiracy. Read a description of our finding in the press release from the the Keck Observatory.
Cappellari (2015)
Figure 4: Schematic representation of Schwarzschild's numerical orbital-superposition dynamical modelling method. The figure was taken from Cappellari (2015). An explanation of the spider-like orbital shapes is given here.

Formation and evolution of galaxies: Observations at high redshift, combined with detailed measurements of the cosmic microwave background (e.g. Spergel et al. 2007), have provided a scenario for galaxy formation in which the Universe is dominated by dark matter of unknown nature. The general scenario for the assembly of the dark matter seems to be rather well understood as it can be described by a hierarchical process driven by the sole influence of gravity (e.g. Springel et al. 2005). Much however still has to be learnt about the way the luminous matter, namely the stars and galaxies that we actually observe, form from the accretion of gas within the dark matter potential. The complication comes from the fact that these processes are driven by the hydrodynamic and chemistry of the gas, combined with complex feedback processes of the radiation on it.

In my work I am trying to understand how the galaxies were assembled using two complementary approaches. I am observing nearby objects, that can be analyzed in detail due to their vicinity, which contain the fossil record of billions of years of evolution. And I am observing the distant galaxies whose light reaches us after billions of years of travel through space. For this reason we can see them as they were when the Universe was young and the galaxies were still forming.

In 2018 I was awarded a prize by the Lincei Academy for the impact of my research on the structure of galaxies using integral-field spectroscopy:

Lincei Prize

My recent work has progressed along the following lines of reasearch:



Old pages

Prehistoric research pages and my Ph.D. thesis are still available here.
Last modified: 04/AUG/2018

Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional