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 Nikki Zabel

Nikki Zabel

Research student, School of Physics and Astronomy

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I am a post-graduate researcher. I started my PhD here in October 2017 as part of the Galaxies group, after obtaining my Master's degree at Leiden University. My supervisors are Dr. Timothy Davis and Prof. Haley Gomez.

My research focuses on the effect of the cluster environment on galaxy evolution. It is well known that clusters harbour a large fraction of elliptical (red and dead) galaxies compared to the field, suggesting that something about the cluster environment causes the “quenching” of star forming galaxies. The goal of my PhD is to investigate whether environmental effects (e.g. ram pressure stripping, harassment) directly affect the molecular gas inside cluster galaxies. Since molecular gas is the direct fuel for star formation, and many galaxies exist in clusters, this has important implications for galaxy evolution as a whole.

During my first year I focused on presenting the data of the ALMA Fornax Cluster Survey (AlFoCS), a survey of all Fornax cluster galaxies that are known to contain atomic hydrogen or dust. I am currently studying the Kennicut-Schmidt law on smaller scales within some of these galaxies.



In my time in Leiden, I was Teaching Assistant for the first-year course Introduction to Astrophysics from 2013 to 2015. This involved leading problem sessions, thinking up homework exercises and exam questions, and marking homework and exams.

Here in Cardiff I am a Demonstrator for the second-year astronomy lab Observational Techniques in Astronomy, where I guide students through their experiments, and mark their lab diaries.


Image of Dr Tim Davis

Dr Timothy Davis

Senior Lecturer
STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow
Astronomy Group

Image of Prof Haley Gomez

Professor Haley Gomez

Deputy Head of School
Astronomy Group