About the Group

The energy output of actively accreting supermassive black holes (active galactic nuclei, AGN) has become a critical ingredient in modern galaxy formation theories and is widely considered to be the main driver in regulating the growth of massive galaxies. This energy typically exceeds the binding energy of a galaxy, such that even if only a few percent of that energy couples to the gas, gas may be heated and/or driven outside the galaxy which can effectively quench star formation activity. The critical role of AGN in galaxy formation was hypothesised two decades ago, yet this paradigm only recently obtained observational support and specific observational evidence of AGN-driven feedback has been surprisingly hard to come by. The group's research focuses on finding concrete observational evidence for the self-regulation of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies, on understanding the power, reach and impact of feedback processes exerted by AGN, and on the role of AGN in galaxy evolution at all cosmic epochs. The group aims to characterise the internal structure and the multi-phase nature of AGN feedback signatures, determine outflow masses and energetics, and inventory the sources of gas excitation. To achieve these ambitious goals, data from state-of-the-art ground- and space-based telescopes are being used to determine the physical properties of AGN-driven winds and to measure how and how much gas they can remove from their host galaxies. Specifically, the group leverages and will continue to leverage integral field unit observations, including data from the approved JWST Early Release Science program Q3D, which yield complex datasets probing spatially resolved stellar and gas kinematics and enable fundamentally new methods of investigating AGN feedback.

This group started its work in September 2020 and is funded through an Emmy Noether Grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and is also supported by a grant from the Daimler und Benz Stiftung .

Team Members

Group Lead

Dr. Dominika Wylezalek                                                           
Email: dominika.wylezalek at uni-heidelberg.de
Link to ADS Library
Personal Website


Dr. Caroline Bertemes                                                                                                          
Email: c.bertemes at uni-heidelberg.de
Personal Website

PhD Students

Mr. Wuji Wang, MSc                                                                                                          
Email: wuji.wang at uni-heidelberg.de
Thesis Title: Mapping the circumgalactic medium around high-redshift radio galaxies in 3D
PhD Profile

Master Students

Mr. Marco Albán, BSc                                                                                                          
Email: gn252 at stud.uni-heidelberg.de
Project Title: Mapping AGN-driven outflows in MaNGA AGN

Bachelor Students

Mr. Chuanming Mao                                                                                                          
Email: chuanming.mao at stud.uni-heidelberg.de
Project Title: The 3D rest-frame UV view of high-redshift radio galaxies


July 2021
Wuji Wang's first first-author paper on the "Mapping the invisible circumgalactic medium around a z ~ 4.5 radio galaxy with MUSE" has been accepted for publication in A&A. Congratulations Wuji! Arxiv Link
July 2021
Chuanming Mao defends his BSc Thesis on the "The 3D rest-frame UV view of high-redshift radio galaxies". Congratulations Chuanming!
July 2021
ESO UVES proposal accepted!
July 2021

First full in person group meeting in 3D!
April 2021 Wuji Wang's JWST Cycle 1 Proposal approved. Congratulations Wuji! Link to press release , Link to Unispiegel article (page 5)
Jan 2021 Video Portrait about our JWST Early Release Science Project: German Version, English Version
Sep 2020 The GALENA Emmy Noether Group starts its work. Department Press Release , University Press Release


"Mapping the invisible circumgalactic medium around a z ~ 4.5 radio galaxy with MUSE", Wuji Wang, Dominika Wylezalek, Carlos De Breuck, Joël Vernet, Andrew Humphrey, Montserrat Villar Martín, Matthew Lehnert, Sthabile Kolwa, A&A accepted, 2021 Arxiv Link

Data Products

Soon to come.