The evolution of galaxies can be studied using the abundance ratios of long lived stars, which serve as fossil records of the chemical composition from the gas clouds they formed. It is standard in our field to use the these fossil records to study how the chemical information is inherited from one stellar generation to the next using the principle of descent with modification, and therefore underpin evolution. What is novel is that this very principle allows us to further depict the patterns of descent among stars as an evolutionary tree. Today, in all branches of biology, evolutionary trees (more generally known as phylogenies) are a major tool for analyzing the pattern and process of evolutionary history. In this talk, I will show how we can adapt these tools and use it to study the history of the Milky Way.
Rene A. Mendez
DAS/UChile – email@example.com