Anne-Marie Weijmans - home page


Name      : Anne-Marie Weijmans
Adress    : School of Physics and Astrononomy
            University of St Andrews
            North Haugh
	    St Andrews
            Fife KY16 9RJ
            Scotland, UK
Telephone : +44 (0)1334 46 2823
E-mail    : amw23*AT*
Room      : 334

I am a lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews.


My research concentrates on the structure and evolution of galaxies, and more specifically, on the properties of their dark matter haloes. The dark halo is the most massive component of a galaxy, and plays an important role in the formation and evolution of that galaxy. Even though dark matter is not visible (it does not interact with the electro-magnetic force), we can infer its presence from the gravitational influence that it has on its surroundings: stars and gas will move faster in the presence of a dark matter halo than they would if the dark matter were not there. I therefore use integral-field spectrographs such as SAURON and VIRUS-P, to measure the movements of stars and gas in the faint outskirts of galaxies, where the influence of the dark matter is strongest. Based on these kinematics, I map the dark halo using dynamical modeling techniques. And because integral-field spectrographs not only captures the kinematics of the stars, but also their chemical properties, I can at the same time determine the properties (age, metallicity) of the stellar halo population. The galaxies that I study in this way are part of the Atlas3D sample of nearby early-type galaxies

The figure on the left illustrates what I'm attempting to achieve with my research: I start out with observations, which I use to make models of dark matter haloes. The properties of these dark haloes can then be compared with predictions of theoretical simulations, which can then trigger new predictions that we can test with observations.

More recently, I have also started to look at galaxies at higher redshift. I compare the structural properties of nearby galaxies with those of galaxies far away (at higher redshifts). Because light has a finite speed, the light of these last galaxies takes billions of years to reach us, and therefore we see these galaxies at a time when they were very young. By comparing these young galaxies to the old ones that we see today, we can learn something about which processes galaxies have undergone over time, and how that changed their appearances.

I am also interested in future integral-field studies, and am the leadobserver of MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO), a survey that will start July 2014 with observing 10,000 galaxies as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey IV (SDSS-IV). You can read my blogpost on our commissioning run here: MaNGA's first galaxies.

Main Publications

-  The Atlas3D project - XXIV. The intrinsic shape distribution of early type galaxies,
A. Weijmans, P.T. de Zeeuw, E. Emsellem, D. Krajnović, P.-Y. Lablanche, K. Alatalo, L. Blitz, M. Bois, F. Bournaud, M. Bureau, M. Cappellari, A.F. Crocker, R.L. Davies, T.A. Davis, P.-A. Duc, S. Khochfar, H. Kuntschner, R.M. McDermid, R. Morganti, T. Naab, T. Oosterloo, M. Sarzi, N. Scott, P. Serra, G. Verdoes Kleijn, L.M. Young, 2014, MNRAS, in press

-  On the shapes and structures of high-redshift compact galaxies,
M. Chevance, A. Weijmans, I. Damjanov, R.G. Abraham, L. Simard, S. van den Bergh, E. Caris, K. Glazebrook, 2012, ApJ, 754L, 24

-  Dissecting the Lyman Alpha emission halo of LAB1,
A. Weijmans, R.G. Bower, J.E. Geach, A.M. Swinbank, R.J. Wilman, P.T. de Zeeuw, S.L. Morris, 2010, MNRAS, 402, 2245

-  Stellar velocity profiles and line strengths out to four effective radii in the early-type galaxies NGC 3379 and NGC 821,
A. Weijmans, M. Cappellari, R. Bacon, P.T. de Zeeuw, E. Emsellem, J. Falcon-Barroso, H. Kuntschner, R.M. McDermid, R.C.E. van den Bosch, G. van de Ven, 2009, MNRAS, 398, 561

-  The shape of the dark matter halo in the early-type galaxy NGC 2974,
A. Weijmans, D. Krajnović, G. van de Ven, T.A. Oosterloo, R. Morganti, P.T. de Zeeuw, 2008, MNRAS, 383, 1343--1358

And my PhD thesis can be found here:  
The Structure of Dark and Luminous Matter in Early-Type Galaxies.

Popular articles

-  SAURON ziet alles...,
A. Weijmans, Eureka!, november 2008, edition 23 (in Dutch)

-  SAURON - het oog dat alles ziet,
A. Weijmans & D. Krajnović, Zenit, september 2005, p392--395 (in Dutch)

Education and Public Outreach

I am currently teaching AS4010 Extragalactic Astronomy and the cosmology module of AS1001 Astronomy & Astrophysics 1.

Dutch Astronomy Olympiad

I was involved in organising the first Dutch Astronomy Olympiad in 2007. This Olympiad offers high school students a chance to enlarge their knowledge on astronomy, and win a trip to the Observatory of La Palma!
The Astronomy Olympiad has become an annual event. Have a look at Sterrenkunde Olympiade for more information.


I play the oboe, and am a member of the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra. Also, have a look at the webpages of the orchestras in the Netherlands where I played the oboe and the cor anglais:

Sinfonietta Voorschoten
Randstad Quintet (links to YouTube video)
Leidse Harmoniekapel