Juan Nicolas Garavito-Camargo, an alumni of the 2014 Vatican Observatory Summer School (VOSS), successfully defended his Ph. D. thesis on May 26, 2021. Congratulations Dr. Garavito-Camargo!
Dr. Garavito-Camargo’s bio states: “I study the dynamics of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies to understand its formation history and what it tell us about Dark Matter. I am particularly interested in modeling the interaction between the Milky Way and its more massive satellite, the Large Magellanic Cloud. I use N-body simulations and numerical methods to build Milky Way gravitational time-dependent potentials.”
One of the main topics of the 2014 VOSS was: “An Introduction to galaxies near and far; Basic properties of nearby galaxies – masses and star formation, gas content, stellar ages and galaxy evolution, numerical models.” Niko told me that the VOSS certainly had a big influence on him – it really changed his path! Niko really appreciates how much the VOSS helped him.
His thesis mentor at the University of Arizona, Associate Professor Gurtina Besla, wrote to Chris Corbally:
“I’ve been lucky to have such a great student – it’s been a pleasure working with Nico.”
Nico has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at Flatiron Institute in NYC – which is exactly the place he wanted to go after UofA!
Here is a couple of links that nicely summarize Dr. Garavito-Camargo’s research:
Video: Simulation of Dark Matter Wake in the Milky Way Halo
Since Niko just happens to be studying the Large Magellanic Cloud, I shamelessly took the opportunity to ask him a question about the LMC that has been driving me crazy for a while: What does the LMC look like “from the side?” Or rather, if you orbited around it 90° from how we see it? Is it a flat disk, like the Milky Way would look like edge-on, or is it an irregular blob because of its interaction with the Milky Way? Short answer: we’re not sure; that is an active area of research. Not quite the answer I was looking for, but interesting nonetheless.