Durham University
29th July – 2nd August 2019

Image Credit:
Alessandra Aloisi,
Ryan Cooke,
Azadeh Fattahi,
Till Sawala,
Adrien Thob.

Scientific Rationale

Dwarf galaxies play a fundamental role in our understanding of cosmology and galaxy formation. They are the most abundant galaxy population in the Universe and mark the boundary between galaxies and dark matter subhaloes devoid of baryonic material. As a result these low mass galaxies provide a unique opportunity to study the basic building blocks of galaxy haloes and probe the identity of dark matter. In this conference we will bring together researchers studying dwarf galaxies from the local Milky Way to the high redshift Universe and discuss the critical open questions posed by dwarf galaxies. In particular, we aim to address the following key questions:

  1. Is ΛCDM correct? What can dwarf galaxies tell us about the identity of dark matter?
  2. Can we identify the signatures of reionization amongst the dwarf population? What role did dwarf galaxies play in the reionization of the Universe?
  3. What do the star formation histories and chemical properties of dwarfs tell us about galaxy formation? Are there signatures of the first stars in dwarf galaxies?
  4. How will the next generation of surveys and simulations answer the above questions?

We aim to bring together astronomers from a range of fields in order to address these fundamental questions, to highlight the principle open issues, and to discuss the future observational and theoretical advances that are needed to make progress. Contributions will be in the form of long and short presentations, as well as active discussion sessions.

Click here to download the conference poster!

Scientific Organising Committee

Gurtina Besla (University of Arizona)
Michelle Collins (University of Surrey)
Ryan Cooke (co-chair; Durham University)
Alis Deason (co-chair; Durham University)
Carlos Frenk (Durham University)
Andrew Pontzen (University College London)
Brian Siana (University of California Riverside)
Eline Tolstoy (University of Groningen)

Code of Conduct

The organizers are committed to making this meeting productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality or religion. We will not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. All participants are required to abide by the following Code of Conduct to help us achieve a safe and positive conference for everyone. Please follow these guidelines:

  1. Be kind to and respect others. Do not insult or put down other attendees.
  2. Behave professionally. Harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary comments or jokes are not appropriate. Harassment includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent. It also includes offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion.
  3. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate.
Participants asked to stop any inappropriate behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the event at the sole discretion of the organizers without a refund of any charge.

Any participant who wishes to report a violation of this policy is asked to speak, in confidence, to either Ryan Cooke (ryan.j.cooke@durham.ac.uk), Alis Deason (alis.j.deason@durham.ac.uk), any member of the SOC, or one of the astronomy allies.


This code of conduct is based on the "London Code of Conduct", as originally designed for the conference "Accurate Astrophysics. Correct Cosmology", held in London in July 2015. The London Code of Conduct was adapted with permission by Andrew Pontzen and Hiranya Peiris from a document by Software Carpentry, which itself derives from original Creative Commons documents by PyCon and Geek Feminism. It is released under a CC-Zero licence for reuse.

Important Dates

All deadlines are at 23:59 UTC.
15th January 2019 Pre-registration/abstract submission opens
1st April 2019 Pre-registration and abstract submission closes
1st May 2019 Registration opens
15th June 2019 Registration closes
29th July – 2nd August 2019 Conference

Confirmed Participants

  • Betsey Adams (ASTRON)
  • Francesca Annibali (INAF-OAS Bologna)
  • Luca Beale (University of Virginia)
  • Vasily Belokurov (Institute of Astronomy)
  • Alejandro Benitez-LLambay (Durham University)
  • Paul Bennet (Texas Tech University)
  • Danielle Berg (The Ohio State University)
  • Gurtina Besla (U. Arizona)
  • Ana Bonaca (Harvard)
  • Sownak Bose (Harvard University)
  • Alyson Brooks (Rutgers University)
  • James Bullock (University of California, Irvine)
  • Marius Cautun (Leiden Observatory, Leiden University)
  • Katie Chamberlain (University of Arizona)
  • Laura Chang (Princeton University)
  • Emma Chapman (Imperial College London)
  • Anirudh Chiti (MIT)
  • Nelvy Choque-Challapa (University of Groningen)
  • Michelle Collins (University of Surrey)
  • Ryan Cooke (Durham University)
  • Aoife Curran (Durham University)
  • Richard D Souza (Vatican Observatory)
  • Michele De Leo (University of Surrey)
  • Alis Deason (Durham University)
  • Andres del Pino (Space Telescope Science Institute)
  • Dhruba Dutta Chowdhury (Yale University)
  • F. Sara Eftekhari (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, The Netherlands)
  • Kareem El-Badry (UC Berkeley)
  • Lydia Elias (University of California, Riverside)
  • Christoph Engler (Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg & Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie)
  • Dawn Erb (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Denis Erkal (University of Surrey)
  • Raphael Errani (University of Edinburgh)
  • Ivanna Escala (Caltech)
  • Azadeh Fattahi (Durham University)
  • Catherine Fielder (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Anna Frebel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Carlos Frenk (Durham University)
  • Tobias Fritz (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias)
  • Michele Fumagalli (Durham University)
  • Juan Nicolas Garavito Camargo (University of Arizona)
  • Marla Geha (Yale University)
  • Anna Genina (Durham University)
  • Andrew Graus (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Alexandra Gregory (University of Surrey)
  • Wojciech Hellwing (Center for Theoretical Physics of PAS, Warsaw)
  • Ana M. Hidalgo-Gamez (ESFM-IPN)
  • Clare Higgs (University of Victoria)
  • Jessie Hirtenstein (University of California, Davis)
  • Tiffany Hsyu (UC Santa Cruz)
  • Leopoldo Infante (Carnegie Institution for Science, Las Campanas Observatory)
  • Giuliano Iorio (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)
  • Bethan James (STScI)
  • Adrian Jenkins (Durham University)
  • Myoungwon Jeon (Kyung Hee University)
  • Alexander Ji (Carnegie Observatories)
  • Nitya Kallivayalil (University of Virginia)
  • Marios Karouzos (Nature Astronomy)
  • Ashley Kelly (Durham University)
  • Stacy Kim (The Ohio State University)
  • Evan Kirby (Caltech Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics)
  • Sophie Koudmani (IoA, University of Cambridge)
  • Nimisha Kumari (University of Cambridge)
  • Peter Kurczynski (US National Science Foundation)
  • Cedric Lacey (Durham University)
  • Chervin Laporte (UVic/CITA)
  • Geraint Lewis (The University of Sydney)
  • Zhaozhou Li (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Nicolas Longeard (Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg)
  • Mark Lovell (Durham University)
  • Aaron Ludlow (ICRAR/UWA)
  • Christina Manzano-King (University of California Riverside)
  • Giorgio Manzoni (Durham University)
  • Pol Massana (University of Surrey)
  • Davide Massari (University of Bologna)
  • Kristen McQuinn (Rutgers University)
  • Simon Morris (Durham University)
  • Oliver Newton (Durham University)
  • Anna Nierenberg (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
  • Kyle Oman (Kapteyn Institute)
  • Matthew Orkney (University of Surrey)
  • Raffaele Pascale (University of Bologna - DIFA)
  • Ekta Patel (University of Arizona)
  • Sanjaya Paudel (Yonsei University)
  • Marcel Pawlowski (Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam)
  • Susana Pedrosa (IAFE - UAM)
  • Reynier Peletier (University of Groningen)
  • Andrew Pontzen (UCL)
  • Rhys Poulton (ICRAR)
  • Janet Preston (University of Surrey)
  • Ragadeepika Pucha (University of Arizona)
  • Justin Read (University of Surrey)
  • John Regan (Dublin City University)
  • Martin Rey (University College London)
  • Alexander Riley (Texas A&M University)
  • Daniella Roberts (The Ohio State University)
  • Andrew Robertson (Durham University)
  • Ian Roederer (University of Michigan)
  • Anton Rudakovskyi (Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kiev, Ukraine)
  • Elena Sacchi (Space Telescope Science Institute)
  • Nathan Sandford (UC Berkeley)
  • Isabel Santos Santos (University of Victoria)
  • Shobita Satyapal (George Mason University)
  • Claudia Scarlata (University of Minnesota)
  • Shi Shao (Durham University)
  • Nora Shipp (University of Chicago)
  • Brian Siana (UC Riverside)
  • Josh Simon (Carnegie Observatories)
  • Christine Simpson (University of Chicago)
  • Evan Skillman (University of Minnesota)
  • Adam Smercina (University of Michigan)
  • Matthew Smith (CCA, Flatiron Institute)
  • Tony Sohn (Space Telescope Science Institute)
  • Daniel Stark (University of Arizona)
  • Else Starkenburg (Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP))
  • Sabrina Stierwalt (Occidental College)
  • Martin Stref (University of Montpellier)
  • Louis Strigari (Texas A&M University)
  • Calvin Sykes (Durham University)
  • Salvatore Taibi (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias)
  • Tom Theuns (Durham University)
  • Guillaume Thomas (NRC Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics)
  • Erik Tollerud (Space Telescope Science Institute)
  • Risa Wechsler (Stanford)
  • Dan Weisz (UC Berkeley)
  • Louise Welsh (Durham University)
  • Andrew Wetzel (University of California, Davis)
  • David Williamson (University of Southampton)
  • John Wise (Georgia Tech)
  • Anna Wright (Rutgers University)
  • Zhen Yuan (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
  • Conference Programme

    The conference programme is given below. Long talks (L) are 20 mins (+ 5 mins questions), whilst short talks (S) are 12 mins (+ 3 mins questions). Poster presentations are 2 mins each. Coffee will be served in the 30 mins breaks, whilst lunch will be 90 mins
    Here is the Conference Programme

    Poster Presentations

    Poster Presentations Group 1
    Monday: 12:15-12:30

    Luca Beale (slides, poster)
    The HI Structure of the Local Volume Dwarf Galaxy Pisces A
    Paul Bennet (slides, poster)
    The M101 Satellite Luminosity Function And The Halo To Halo Scatter Among Milky Way Analogues
    Katie Chamberlain (slides, poster)
    Frequency of Dwarf Galaxy Pairs Throughout Cosmic Time
    Anirudh Chiti (slides, poster)
    Chemical characterization of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies using SkyMapper photometry
    Nelvy Choque-Challapa (poster)
    The Post-processing and Disruption of Substructure in Galaxy Clusters
    Richard D'Souza (slides, poster)
    Do the Satellites of M31 suggest an Accretion of a Large Progenitor?
    Michele De Leo (slides, poster)
    Tearing the Small Magellanic Cloud apart
    Andres del Pino (slides, poster)
    Do Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies Rotate?
    Poster Presentations Group 2
    Monday: 15:15-15:30

    Dhruba Dutta Chowdhury (slides, poster)
    On the Orbital Decay of Globular Clusters in NGC 1052-DF2: Testing a Baryon-Only Mass Model
    F. Sara Eftekhari (slides, poster)
    Spectroscopic Analysis of Dwarf Ellipticals in the Fornax Cluster
    Christoph Engler (slides, poster)
    Satellites in Groups and Clusters with IllustrisTNG
    Raphael Errani (slides, poster)
    Can tides disrupt cold dark matter subhaloes?
    Ivanna Escala (slides, poster)
    Iron and Alpha Element Abundances in the Outer Disk, Giant Southern Stream, and Inner Halo of M31
    Catherine Fielder (slides, poster)
    Predictably Missing Satellites: Subhalo Abundance in Milky Way-like Halos
    Tobias Fritz (slides, poster)
    The mass of the Milky Way from 3D velocities of 45 dwarf galaxies
    Poster Presentations Group 3
    Tuesday: 11:55-12:10

    Marla Geha (slides, poster)
    Re-Reducing the Keck/DEIMOS Stellar Archive
    Alexandra Gregory (slides, poster)
    The Tucana Dwarf Galaxy: An Unusually Dense Dwarf in the Local Group
    Geraint Lewis
    Two major accretion epochs in M31 from two distinct populations of globular clusters
    Zhaozhou Li (slides, poster)
    Milky Way Mass Profile from Satellite Dynamics
    Nicolas Longeard (slides, poster)
    Characterising the nature of the faintest Milky Way satellites with the Pristine survey
    Pol Massana (slides, poster)
    SMASHing The Small Magellanic Cloud
    Poster Presentations Group 4
    Tuesday: 12:10-12:25

    Matthew Orkney (slides, poster)
    Cusps and cores at the EDGE of galaxy formation
    Sanjaya Paudel (poster)
    Merging dwarf galaxies in the local universe
    Rhys Poulton (slides, poster)
    Weaving Dreams in the Dark
    Janet Preston (slides, poster)
    A PAndAS cub in a stream – Andromeda XXVII and the North West Stream
    Ragadeepika Pucha (slides, poster)
    Do Dwarf Galaxies Have Stellar Halos? - A Case Study in IC 1613
    Daniella Roberts (slides, poster)
    Satellite Luminosity Function of Low-Mass Host Galaxies
    Poster Presentations Group 5
    Tuesday: 15:15-15:30

    Elena Sacchi (slides, poster)
    Satellites of satellites: The power of combining HST photometry and Gaia astrometry
    Matthew Smith (slides, poster)
    Detailed modelling of star formation in a galactic context and its impact on the efficiency of stellar feedback in dwarf galaxies
    Salvatore Taibi (slides, poster)
    Stellar chemo-kinematics of isolated dwarf galaxies
    Guillaume Thomas (slides, poster)
    Chemical mapping of the stellar halo of the Milky Way
    David Williamson (slides, poster)
    Magellanic-type dwarfs: SPH simulations of stripping, streams, and star formation
    Zhen Yuan (slides, poster)
    Substructures Revealed from the World of Very Metal-Poor Stars


    Registration: 08:00 - 08:50
    Session 1: 09:00 - 10:30
    Chair: Alis Deason
    Alyson Brooks (L; slides)
    Martin Rey (S; slides)
    Azi Fattahi (S; slides)
    Vasily Belokurov (L; slides)
    Session 2: 11:00 - 12:30
    Chair: Andrew Pontzen
    James Bullock (S; slides)
    Andrew Graus (S; slides)
    Anna Nierenberg (S; slides)
    Alejandro Benitez-Llambay (S; slides)
    Calvin Sykes (S; slides)
    Poster presentations 1
    Session 3: 14:00 - 15:30
    Chair: Denis Erkal
    Jessie Hirtenstein (S; slides)
    Justin Read (S; slides)
    Anna Genina (S; slides)
    Stacy Kim (S; slides)
    Mark Lovell (S; slides)
    Poster presentations 2
    Session 4: 16:00 - 17:00
    Chair: Gurtina Besla
    Oliver Newton (S; slides)
    Nitya Kallivayalil (L; slides)
    Ekta Patel (S; slides)


    Session 5: 09:00 - 10:30
    Chair: Betsey Adams
    Discussion (Gurtina Besla, Alis Deason, Andrew Pontzen; slide)
    Kareem El-Badry (S; slides)
    Shobita Satyapal (S; slides)
    Christina Manzano-King (S; slides)
    Sophie Koudmani (S; slides)
    Session 6: 11:00 - 12:30
    Chair: Josh Simon
    Evan Kirby (S; slides)
    Michelle Collins (L; slides)
    Anna Wright (S; slides)
    Poster presentations 3
    Poster presentations 4
    Session 7: 13:55 - 15:30
    Chair: James Bullock
    Louis Strigari (L; slides)
    Laura Chang (S; slides)
    Marla Geha (L; slides)
    Davide Massari (S; slides)
    Poster presentations 5
    Session 8: 16:00 - 17:00
    Chair: Alyson Brooks
    Giuliano Iorio (S; slides)
    Raffaele Pascale (S; slides)
    Isabel M. E. Santos-Santos (S; slides)
    Kyle Oman (S; slides)


    Session 9: 9:00 - 10:25
    Chair: Evan Skillman
    Tiffany Hsyu (S; slides)
    Kristen McQuinn (S)
    Bethan James (S; slides)
    Nimisha Kumari (S; slides)
    Claudia Scarlata (L)
    Session 10: 10:55 - 12:40
    Chair: Risa Wechsler
    Dan Stark (L; slides)
    Danielle Berg (S; slides)
    Brian Siana (L; slides)
    Dawn Erb (L; slides)
    Leopoldo Infante (S; slides)
    Free afternoon: 14:00 - 19:00
    Check here for information on organised options and ideas to explore the area.

    Wednesday 19:00 - Conference Dinner

    (Durham Castle)


    Session 11: 09:00 - 10:30
    Chair: Kristen McQuinn
    Discussion (Michelle Collins, Ryan Cooke, Brian Siana; slide)
    Adam Smercina (S; slides)
    Sabrina Stierwalt (S; slides)
    Ana Hidalgo-Gamez (S)
    Francesca Annibali (S)
    Session 12: 11:00 - 12:35
    Chair: Michelle Collins
    Clare Higgs (S; slides)
    Betsey Adams (S; slides)
    Erik Tollerud (S; slides)
    Sownak Bose (L; slides)
    Dan Weisz (L)
    Session 13: 14:05 - 15:25
    Chair: Ryan Cooke
    Josh Simon (S; slides)
    John Wise (L; slides)
    Louise Welsh (S; slides)
    Else Starkenburg (L; slides)
    Session 14: 15:55 - 17:00
    Chair: Evan Kirby
    Myoungwon Jeon (S; slides)
    Alex Ji (L; slides)
    Anna Frebel (L)


    Session 15: 09:00 - 10:25
    Chair: Nitya Kallivayalil
    Andrew Wetzel (L; slides)
    Marcel S. Pawlowski (S; slides)
    Shi Shao (S; slides)
    Tony Sohn (S; slides)
    Alexander Riley (S; slides)
    Session 16: 10:55 - 12:20
    Chair: Andrew Wetzel
    Marius Cautun (S; slides)
    Nico Garavito-Camargo (S; slides)
    Christine Simpson (S; slides)
    Ana Bonaca (L)
    Denis Erkal (S; slides)
    Session 17: 14:00 - 15:30
    Chair: Marla Geha
    Lydia Elias (S)
    Chervin Laporte (S)
    Nora Shipp (S; slides)
    Ian Roederer (S; slides)
    Nathan Sandford (S; slides)
    Evan Skillman (S; slides)
    Session 18: 16:00 - 17:00
    Chair: Alis Deason
    Risa Wechsler (L)
    Carlos Frenk (L; slides)
    Concluding Remarks - Alis Deason (S)
    Conference End

    Registration is closed!

    Things to do in Durham (and places to stay)

    Kids & Childcare

    For those bringing family and children with them to Durham during the conference, a list of entertainment suggestions are provided on the "Things to do" tab below.
    If you would like to know more about childcare options, please contact alis.j.deason@durham.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can find a list of registered local childcare professionals at the Durham County Council Families Information Service.

    The Venue

    The conference will be held in the Ph8 Lecture Theatre in the Rochester Building (Physics Department), on the Durham University Science site. The nearest airport is Newcastle Airport (about 40min-1hr by taxi) and the nearest train station is in Durham City centre (25 min walk or a 5 min taxi ride).

    Eating out

    Durham has a wide range of restaurants and cafes around town. If you'd like some ideas on where to go to eat, we've listed a selection of the options within walking distance of the Physics Department and the town centre here.

    Places to Stay

    For information about accommodation options, see here.

    Things to do

    For suggestions on activities (including good pubs) around the Durham area, see here.


    • Address

      Ogden Centre West
      Durham University
      Durham, DH1 3LE
      United Kingdom