I recently returned from an amazing trip to Malaysia.
The conference I attended in Kuching covered many different aspects of hydrogen’s role in galaxy evolution, from its link to star formation and chemical evolution, to the impact of accretion, outflows and environmental effects, and also the evolution of hydrogen in the broader cosmological context.
There were many interesting talks, with a programme schedule that gave plenty of time and opportunity for discussions and introductions. I really enjoyed the review talks, particularly a talk given by Naomi McClure-Griffiths on the HI gas in the circum-galactic medium (a topic I had not previously studied in great detail), and Karin Sandstrom’s comprehensive review of the Kennicutt-Schmidt law.
My contribution was a talk on my work on the link between the gas content and the stellar mass – metallicity relation, where I found the HI gas fraction strongly correlated with both the metallicity and the scatter in the mass-metallicity relation whereby, at fixed stellar mass, galaxies with lower gas fractions typically also have higher oxygen abundances. Statistically the stellar-mass metallicity relation is mostly invariant between environments, suggesting that internal processes play a key role in governing the chemical evolution of galaxies. This work was completed during my time at KIAA and published in A&A last year. Click the image below (or here) to grab a PDF copy of my talk.
After the conference, I took some vacation (since my latest NGC 891 paper was recently submitted) and flew from Kuching up to Kota Kinabalu to explore more of Borneo, visiting the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the Kinabatangan River and the Guomantang Caves. The range of wildlife we saw was amazing – many different species of ape and monkey, including a western tarsier. I thoroughly recommend Sabah as a holiday destination.