David Sobral’s Web Page


I conduct a wide range of observations and use different telescopes (e.g. VLT, Subaru, INT, WHT) in order to understand how galaxies like our own formed and evolved from the primitive Universe till today. I moved to Leiden in 2011 as a NOVA postdoctoral fellow, and since September 2012 I hold a 3-year, 250k EUR Veni fellowship/grant at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands. In 2014 I moved to CAAUL in Lisbon to take a FCT/IF 5-year Starting Grant. Interested in doing research for your MSc or a PhD in Astrophysics/Galaxy formation and Evolution? Check out the international PhD Fellowship programs PhD::SPACE and IDPASC!

I obtained my Ph.D. in 2011 at the Institute for Astronomy in Edinburgh (funded by a FCT Ph.D. Fellowship), working with Philip Best (also with Ian Smail et al.). I was and I still am heavily involved with the High-Redshift(z) Emission Line Survey (HiZELS), a panoramic extragalactic survey using WFCAM/UKIRT with which we are finding thousands of very distant emission-line galaxies. The survey was an amazing opportunity to use the powerful UKIRT telescope to conduct by far the largest survey for distant star-forming galaxies using a single technique.

My key aim is to contribute as much as I can to our understanding of how, when, why and by which mechanisms galaxies form and evolve. So far, I have been investigating (mostly for the first time) the nature, clustering and evolution of large samples of very distant Hα emitters that I have obtained (at z=0.4, z=0.84, z=1.47 and z=2.23, when the Universe was only 8, 6, 4 and ~2 billion years old, respectively), together with unveiling the role of “nature” (stellar masses) and “nurture” (the environment in which galaxies reside). I have also been conducting the largest searches for even more distant galaxies, looking for Lyα emission from (the first?) galaxies that might have existed when the Universe was only 0.5 billion years old (see here!).

See my publications (currently ~50) here (ADS) or here (astro-ph).

Some first-author publications:

  1. -The stellar mass function of star-forming galaxies and the mass-dependent SFR function since z=2.23; David Sobral et al., 2014, MNRAS, 437, 3516.

  1. -The Dynamics of z=0.8 Ha-selected Star-forming Galaxies from KMOS/CF-HiZELS; David Sobral et al., 2013b, ApJ, 428, 1128. (The first KMOS Science paper!).

  1. -A large, multi-epoch Ha survey at z=2.23, 1.47, 0.84 & 0.40: the 11 Gyr evolution of star-forming galaxies from HiZELS; David Sobral et al., 2013a, MNRAS, 428, 1128. (See Press Release 1, 2).

  1. -Star formation at z=1.47 from HiZELS: An Hα+[OII] double-blind study; David Sobral et al., 2012, MNRAS, 420, 1926. (See Press Release).


Welcome to my Web Page!

Research Interests: Observational Cosmology: galaxy formation and evolution; narrow-band emission-line surveys; high-z star-forming galaxies: properties (Hα luminosity, clustering, morphologies, colours, environments, masses; inter-dependences); star formation history of the Universe and its drivers; high-z Lyα emitters; re-ionization

Other Interests: Science outreach, writing, long-distance running, volleyball, music, art, body-boarding, Hawaii, telescopes and, most of all, sunny, warm (proper) weather!

David R. S. G. Sobral

Veni/FCT IF Fellow

Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics

Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa,

Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa


Phone: +31 (0)71 527 8421

E-mail: sobral@strw.leidenuniv.nl      


New: Check out my books for Kindle >http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B008MKKJW4_sr?sort=relevance&search-alias=books&field-author=David+Sobralhttp://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B008MKKJW4_sr?sort=relevance&search-alias=books&field-author=David+Sobralshapeimage_7_link_0