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Associate Professor Michelle Cluver

ARC Future Fellow
PhD in Astronomy, University of Cape Town, South Africa


I am currently an ARC Future Fellow in the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, having moved to Australia from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, where I held an NRF Research Career Advancement Fellowship. I obtained a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cape Town in 2009, and was awarded the PhD Medal for Best Thesis in the Faculty of Science. My first postdoctoral position was at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute for Technology, following which I held a Super Science Fellowship at the Australian Astronomical Observatory. My broad research interest is at the intersection of the physics that drives (and inhibits) star formation, and the cascade of these effects on the elemental chemistry of star formation, i.e. the interplay between gas, dust, stars, and gravity.
My current research focus is on the evolution of galaxies within groups, a key environment in the transformation of galaxies from star-forming disks to bulge-dominated, relatively quiescent systems. By using mid-infrared and radio wavelengths, we can ameliorate the effects of dust extinction in order to probe stellar mass, star formation and the distribution of neutral gas, the fuel for star formation, in these systems. Using surveys such as GAMA ( and Taipan (, combined with WISE mid-infrared data ( and HI from the SKA Pathfinders, we can determine a baseline for group evolution that can then be probed at higher redshifts with surveys like WAVES ( My Future Fellowship aims to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the impact of environment on the physics and chemistry of star formation, with the ultimate goal being to inform semi-analytic models of galaxy evolution. 

I currently serve on the Scientific and Strategic Advisory Committee of the GAMA and WAVES projects, and on the Management Committee of the DEVILS survey (

Research interests

Galaxies in Groups; Mid-Infrared Properties of Galaxies; Neutral Gas in Galaxy Groups

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.


Available to supervise honours students.

Fields of Research

  • Cosmology And Extragalactic Astronomy - 510103

Teaching areas

Black Holes and Galaxy Structure;Square Kilometre Array;Galaxy Evolution


  • 2009, Other, Best PhD Thesis in Faculty of Science, University of Cape Town


Also published as: Cluver, Michelle; Cluver, M.; Cluver, M. E.; Cluver, Michelle E.; Cluver, Michelle Elizabeth
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Recent research grants awarded

  • 2018: From Feast to Famine: Tracing Transformation in Galaxy Groups *; ARC Future Fellowships

* Chief Investigator

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