Ananthan Karunakaran

Core Team


I completed my graduate studies, both M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Physics, from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada under the supervision of Kristine Spekkens. My research focuses on characterizing the neutral hydrogen (HI) gas and star-forming properties of dwarf galaxies, particularly those of low-surface brightness. I am the Principal Investigator of the HI follow-up survey of Ultra Diffuse galaxy (UDG, i.e. dwarf galaxies with very low surface brightness) candidates from the Systematically Measuring Ultra-Diffuse Galaxies Survey. This is the largest follow-up campaign of these objects to date. This follow-up survey aims to both confirm candidates as true UDGs and place constraints on their proposed formation mechanisms.

I am also keen on understanding the role of dwarf satellite galaxies around Milky Way-like galaxies. In my efforts thus far, I have been able to show that modern observational efforts are not reproducing the trends we see both in the Local Group (i.e. around the Milky Way and M31) and in the state-of-the-art simulation suites, APOSTLE and Auriga. There is still much to do!

I joined the AMIGA and protoSRC team at the IAA-CSIC in October 2021. While here, I am continuing to carry out my work on UDGs and satellites but also extend these efforts to the Hickson Compact Groups within the AMIGA sample. I am also contributing to the development of the prototype SRC here at the IAA.