Giovanni Cresci

Natura nos ad utrumque genuit, et contemplationi rerum et actioni

I work as staff researcher in the Extragalactic Group at Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri in Firenze, Italy, which is part of INAF, the Italian National Institute for Astrophysical Research.

My research interests are mainly in the field of Galaxy Evolution with an observational approach, mostly focusing on the evolution of ISM and chemical enrichment with cosmic time and on the effects and properties of AGN feedback

I'm also involved in several new instrumentation projects, such as MAVIS for the VLT, for which I act as co-Project Scientist, NIRSpec on JWST, MOONS at VLT, ERIS at VLT and ANDES for ELT

AGN Feedback

The metal circle: a new sharp view of the baryon cycle at high-z with the latest generation IFU facilities - an INAF Large Grant 2022. Galaxies are not isolated islands in the Universe, but they continuously exchange matter and energy with their intergalactic surroundings. This baryon cycle is of utmost importance to understand how galaxies form their stars, acquire and lose their gas, shape their morphology, and which is the role of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in these processes. This project aims to exploit unprecedented datasets to explore the baryon cycle up to z=9 through the study of interstellar medium (ISM) properties and AGN feedback. This is only possible for the unique position of our group, which has access to guaranteed observations exploiting the new forefront IFU instruments in the near-IR (NIRSpec@JWST, ERIS@VLT). These data will enable a transformational view of these processes, up to uncharted redshift ranges.

Outflows and feedback in active galaxies with MUSE and SINFONI Integral Field Spectroscopy. My group provided the first evidences of Positive and Negative feedback on AGN host galaxies

MAGNUM (Measuring Active Galactic Nuclei Under MUSE Microscope) is a MUSE@VLT integral field survey of 10 among the closest and best studied Active Galaxies

SUPER (SINFONI Survey for Unveiling the Physics and the Effect of Radiative feedback) is a SINFONI Large Program to carry out the first statistically-sound investigation of ionised outflows in AGN host galaxies at the peak epoch of AGN and galaxy assembly, z~2. It consists of 280 hours of SINFONI observations in LGS Seeing Enhancer mode to reach a spatial resolution of 1 kpc at z~2.

Chemical Evolution of galaxies

Metallicity evolution of the Universe using scaling relations as the Mass-Metallicity and the Fundamental Metallicity Relation

The physics of galaxy assembly: spatially resolved IFS observations of High-redshift galaxies - NIRSpec/JWST GTO Integral-field spectroscopy (IFS) observations of individual high-redshift galaxies with NIRSpec will enable us to investigate in detail the most important physical processes driving galaxy evolution across the cosmic epoch. The main goals of these observations are: to trace the distribution of star formation, to map the resolved properties of the stellar populations, to trace the gas kinematics (i.e. velocity fields, σv) and, therefore, determine dynamical masses and also identify non-virial motions (outflow and inflows), and to map metallicity gradients and dust extinction. These quantities will be mapped both for star forming galaxies and galaxies hosting active galaxy nuclei (AGNs). With this program we will extend up to z~6, and higher, the current ground-based studies relying on observations of the Hα line, which are limited to z ≃ 2.5 and which are affected by low sensitivity and modest angular resolution. The galaxy sample will be selected to be a good representation of the most massive Main Sequence (MS) of star-forming galaxies (including a few off-MS cases) and AGNs in the range 3-5 (both powerful starbursts and quasars). The samples will be drawn from previous optical, near-IR, and sub-mm and mm surveys.

MOONRISE: The Main MOONS GTO Extragalactic Survey The MOONS instrument possesses an exceptional combination of large multiplexing, high sensitivity, broad simultaneous spectral coverage (from optical to near-infrared bands), large patrol area and high fibre density. These properties provide the unprecedented potential of enabling, for the very first time, SDSS-like surveys around Cosmic Noon (z ~ 1–2.5), when the star formation rate in the Universe peaked. The high-quality spectra delivered by MOONS will sample the same nebular and stellar diagnostics observed in extensive surveys of local galaxies, providing an accurate and consistent description of the evolution of various physical properties of galaxies,and hence a solid test of different scenarios of galaxy formation and transformation. Most importantly, by spectroscopically identifying hundreds of thousands of galaxies at high redshift, the MOONS surveys will be capable of determining the environments in which primeval galaxies lived and will reveal how such environments affected galaxy evolution.

KLEVER (Kmos LEnsed Velocity and Emission line Review) is an ESO Large Programme exploiting the multi-IFU near-IR spectrograph KMOS at the Very Large Telescope. The goal is to obtain spatially resolved spectroscopy of a sample of about 200 galaxies in the redshift range z~1-2.5, in all three primary near-IR bands (J, H, K) so to map all of the primary optical nebular lines redshifted into the near-IR bands ([OII], [NeIII], He II, Hβ, [OIII], Hα, [NII], [SII], [SIII]). The combination of these multiple lines will enable us to investigate in detail the physical properties of the ISM in galaxies (excitation mechanism, chemical enrichment, ionization parameter, density, etc...) with an accuracy that has not been possible in previous large surveys.

AMAZE (Assessing the Mass Aboundance redshift-Z Evolution) and LSD,(Lyman-break galaxies Stellar populations and Dynamics): two italian projects aimed at studying spatially resolved dynamical an chemical evolution at redshift z>3, using integral field spectroscopy with SINFONI@VLT, multi object observation with LUCIFER@LBT, and XSHOOTER@VLT

Other observational projects

Star Formation in local Dwarf Galaxies, Integral Field Spectroscopy with MUSE and SINFONI at the VLT of local star forming Dwarf Galaxies, a unique test bench to study in detail the physical mechanisms that drive star formation and galaxy evolution in nearly pristine environments, resembling those in high-z galaxies

VANDELS, a deep VIMOS survey of the CANDELS UDS and CDFS fields, with ultradeep exposures up to 80 hours.

SINS/ZCSINS high redshift galaxy Spectroscopic Imaging survey in the Near-Ir, to study spatially resolved gas dynamics and ISM properties at z~2.

SWAN (Survey of Wide Area with NACO), an AO assisted imaging survey in the near-IR (Ph.D. Thesis: "Galaxy Morphology and Star Formation with Adaptive Optics")

KAOSS (K-band Arcetri Obscured Supernova Search), the first IR search for dust extincted Supernovae

Instrumentation projects

Co-project scientist for MAVIS, the MCAO Assisted Visible Imager and Spectrograph proposed for VLT Adaptive Optics Facility. It is made of two main parts: an Adaptive Optics (AO) system that cancels the image blurring induced by atmospheric turbulence in the optical and its post focal instrumentation, for which the baseline is an imager and a spectrograph working close to the diffraction limit of the VLT at optical wavelengths.

Part of the GTO survey for the NIRSpec spectrograph on board of JWST, and collaboration with the ESA team to the characterization in the lab of its performances

Member of the Science Working Group for HIRES, High Resolution Spectrograph for ELT

Member of the ERIS (the next generation IR IFU and AO camera for the VLT) science team

Part of the MOONS (the multi-object NIR spectrometer for the VLT) development team in Arcetri and part of MOONS science working group

Coordinator of the “Physical parameter estimate from spectra” section of the “Galaxy and AGN” science working group for the Euclid satellite

Herschel Far-IR satellite PACS Instrument Control Center scientist for Italy (2012-2013)

Collaboration to the construction and commissioning and science verification of the multi-object near-IR spectrometer LUCI for the LBT, in collaboration with the LUCI team at MPE

Participation to the commissioning and science verification of the near-IR, AO assisted camera PISCES at LBT, in collaboration with INAF and LBT Observatory

Press & Outreach:

I have been interviewed on my work and research activity by italian newspapers:

Some of my works were selected for press releases by INAF, ESA, NASA and ESO, and resulted in a large visibility with the general public:

I have also collaborated with with a local magazine, L'Empovaldo, "l'unica testata che prenderesti voletieri", where I was writing a regular astronomical column under the name of "Strolago di Vaglia".

Curriculum Vitae

A pdf version of my curriculum vitae is available here (updated January 2022)

Research mentorships

Posdoctoral Fellowships

  • 2023- Dr. Elena Bertola
  • 2023- Dr. Avinanda Chakraborty
  • 2019-2022 Dr. Antonino Marasco (currently staff researcher at INAF-PAdova)
  • 2017-2019 Dr. Michele Perna (currently at CSIC Madrid, Spain)

Ph.D. Students

  • 2022-2025 Lorenzo Ulivi (University of Trento)
  • 2022-2025 Cosimo Marconcini (University of Florence)
  • 2020-2023 Dr. Giulia Tozzi (University of Florence, currently at MPE, Garching, DE))
  • 2019-2022 Dr. Amirnezam Amiri (University of Florence, currently at University of Arkansas)
  • 2017-2019 Dr. Matilde Mingozzi (University of Bologna, currently at Space Telescope Science Institute, USA)
  • 2016-2018 Co-supervision - Dr. Giacomo Venturi (University of Florence, currently at SNS Pisa)
  • 2015-2017 Co-supervision - Dr. Mirko Curti (University of Florence, currently at ESO, Garching, DE)

Master students

  • 2023-2024 Matteo Ceci (University of Florence)
  • 2022-2023 Lorenzo Ulivi (University of Florence)
  • 2021-2022 Co-supervision - Cosimo Marconcini (University of Florence)
  • 2019-2020 Giulia Tozzi (University of Florence - Magini Prize 2020)
  • 2017-2018 Co-supervision - Antonio Pensabene (University of Florence - Magini prize 2018)
  • 2015-2016 Co-supervision - Giacomo Venturi (University of Florence)
  • 2014-2015 Co-supervision - Mirko Curti (University of Florence)