Melanie Habouzit

About Me

I am currently a postdoctoral MPIA Fellow and a GLIESE Fellow (since 2019) at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie (MPIA) and Zentrum fur Astronomie der Universitat Heidelberg (ZAH).

My research interests lie in the field of galaxy formation and evolution. Observers have found massive black holes of billions solar masses and more in the center of most local galaxies. I am particularly interested in understanding how these massive black holes formed in the very early Universe, and how they grew to produce the variety of black holes that we observe today. My work includes the connection between central black holes and their host galaxies, and their co-evolution through cosmic times.

To advance our understanding of the early Universe, I perform my own large-scale cosmological simulations with my model for the formation of massive black holes. These simulations are powerful tools to understand the formation of massive black hole, their evolution, their number density, the galaxy-black hole occupation fraction. I am actively working on using these simulations to prepare studied missions, such as LynX, and to make high-redshift predictions to estimate what the upcoming missions, such as JWST, will see.

I also extensively analyzed state-of-the-art large-scale cosmological simulations, such as Horizon-AGN, Horizon-noAGN, Illustris, IllustrisTNG, EAGLE, SIMBA. My recent series of papers presents an axhaustive comparison between the black hole and AGN populations of these simulations, and highlights their agreement and discrepancies with current observations from low to high redshift.

I received my PhD from the University Paris VI (2013-2016). I worked at the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris for 3 years, under the supervision of Dr. Marta Volonteri. My PhD focussed on investigating the formation of the first massive black holes in the early Universe. Then, I moved to New York City for my first postdoc as a Flatiron Fellow (2016-2019), at the Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA).