My research focuses on the formation and evolution of the most massive black holes in the universe, and how these processes are linked to the galaxies that host these “super-massive” black holes. The main theme of my work is the observed cosmic history of mass assembly onto these extreme objects, across all observable cosmic epochs, as probed by measurements of the most basic properties of the black holes and of their host galaxies. A complimentary thrust aims at improving our understanding of the physics of accretion onto super-massive black holes. All these research efforts are pursued by using a wide variety of data - including large surveys in the optical and X-ray regimes, detailed (near-infrared) spectroscopy, and sub-millimeter interferometry - obtained with some of the most advanced ground- and space-based telescopes.
My current research efforts include:
Understanding the fast growth of the first generation of super-massive black holes (1 billion years after the Big Bang) - links to host galaxies and cosmological environments
A large and complete census of growing super-massive black holes in galaxies’ centers, in the local universe
How can we identify fast, supra-critical accretion in the observed universe?
How do super-massive black holes appear when they “switch on” or “shut down”?