Deconstructing Galaxies: Structure and Morphology in the Era of Large Surveys

The study of the structure and morphology of galaxies is one of the major tools astronomers have to address how galaxies form and evolve. Recent progress in the field has allowed for a boost in our understanding on the properties of different structural components in nearby galaxies, as well as in galaxies at intermediate redshifts (z ~ 1-2). Yet the link between structural properties, kinematics, stellar population content and the complex physics involved in the formation and evolution of galaxies is a much more challenging step. One of the major goals of this conference is to address this connection, by questioning for instance what does the structure of galaxies tell us about their formation and evolution, and how observations can help constrain models. In addition, the complexity of methods used to obtain structural measures has grown considerably in recent years. It is thus important to address the strengths and limitations of the different techniques, particularly with the expectation that automated procedures designed to handle large surveys may prevail in the future.

This conference will bring together over 100 observers and theorists, and it is intended to be highly participative, with substantial time devoted to discussions. It will be held at the ESO premises in Santiago, Chile, on November 18-22, 2013, and should set the basis for the study of galaxy structure and morphology in the next decade.