My research has focused on the formation of halos of dark matter (DM) and the evolution of galaxies within them. A milestone in my scientific career was to show through analytical modelling that the halo mass accretion history can be described by an exponential function of redshift in the high-redshift regime. However, in the low-redshift regime the mass growth slows down due to the accelerated expansion of the Universe. This analytic modelling was vital to derive a physically motivated model for dark matter halo concentration, a parameter that describes the halo density structure, as a function of halo mass and redshift. This work, presented in three publications (Correa et al. 2015a,b,c) has been widely used by X-ray and gravitational lensing studies (counting with a total of 240 citations).
I finished my PhD in 2016, and since then I have been heavily involved in the analysis of the EAGLE simulations. I have investigated the formation of hot gas within the DM halo (Correa et al. 2018a), I have looked into the physics that drives the gas accretion rate onto galaxies at the centre of DM halos (Correa et al. 2018b, Collacchioni et al. 2020), and I have analysed the relation between kinematic morphology, intrinsic colour and stellar mass of galaxies in the EAGLE simulation (Correa et al. 2017, Correa, Schaye & Trayford 2019, Correa & Schaye 2020). As a further step in my career I have designed projects for the master degree at Leiden University and supervised Aswin Vijayan (09/2016-08/2017), Malavika Vasist (09/2017-08/2018), and Eva van Weenen (09/2018-08/2019).
I am currently focusing on the development of the new generation of cosmological simulations as member of the EAGLE 2 simulation team led by Prof. Joop Schaye. For my project, I am designing and implementing a state-of-the-art algorithm that deals with the distribution of metals within galaxies through diffusion triggered by the velocity shear of the gas.
In November 2019 I was awarded the NWO VENI fellowship and moved to the University of Amsterdam. As an independent Veni fellow (Nov. 2019-present), I am developing physically-motivated models of the rate of dark matter particles’ interactions (Correa 2020), and including them in new cosmological simulations to investigate the impact of self-interacting dark matter on galaxy formation. At UvA I am also collaborating with the groups led by Profs. Gianfranco Bertone, Christoph Weniger and Shinchiro Ando.