Wren Suess is a PhD candidate in the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department. As an observational astronomer, she uses some of the world's largest telescopes to study how galaxies form and evolve. Right now, she's preoccupied with the question of how and why galaxies stop forming stars. In her free time, Wren rock climbs, goes backpacking, brews beer, and reads copious amounts of feminist sci-fi.
For a century, astronomers have studied galaxies--- immense systems made up of gas, dust, dark matter, and stars--- to help us understand our place in the vast night sky. In this talk, I'll start by taking you on a journey through human time, from how early astronomers learned that the mysterious "island Universes" they observed at night are distant galaxies like our own Milky Way, to how modern astronomers use space telescopes to travel through time and peer into the distant past. Then, I'll take you on a journey through cosmic time and describe how galaxies grow and change over billion-year long timescales. Finally, we'll venture even further into the unknown and learn about one of the greatest unsolved mysteries about how galaxies evolve.