Small Galaxies, Cosmic Questions - II

Durham University, UK
29th July – 2nd August 2024

Scientific Rationale

Dwarf galaxies are unique laboratories for studying galaxy formation processes and testing key cosmological predictions. They are the building blocks of more massive galaxies in the current galaxy formation paradigm, and their relatively old and metal poor stellar populations give clues to the formation of the first stars and galaxies. Despite their low masses, their relatively large dark matter fractions allow us to probe the nature of dark matter on small scales.

Deep photometric and spectroscopic surveys have been key to enhancing our understanding of dwarf galaxies. A large number of these entities have been discovered in recent years, pushing the boundary of the faintest galaxies we know of and raise fundamental questions about the formation of first stars and galaxies in the lowest mass dark matter halos. JWST is also revolutionising the field by providing new data on, and discovery of, the counterparts of these faint objects at higher redshifts. In the coming years, progress will only accelerate thanks to to various upcoming surveys and datasets, such as the Rubin Observatory, the Roman Space Telescope, and WEAVE.

On the other hand, theoretical modelling of these galaxies in a cosmological context has been very challenging due to their low mass and faint luminosities, not to mention their sensitivities to galaxy formation processes. Despite these challenges, both hydrodynamical simulations and semiempirical + Nbody models have had major advances in recent years allowing more robust predictions for properties of these objects.

In this conference, we would like to bring together researchers working on various aspects of dwarf galaxy formation and evolution across cosmic time to discuss the recent progress and key open questions and challenges for the upcoming years. In particular, we will be covering the following broad areas:

There will be a stellar streams workshop “Streams24: The Theory Edition” the following week (5-9th August) hosted at Durham University. If you are interested, you can see details here.

Scientific Organising Committee

Ana Bonaca (Carnegie Observatories)
Sownak Bose (co-chair; Durham University)
Denis Erkal (University of Surrey)
Azi Fattahi (co-chair; Durham University)
Kyle Oman (Durham University)
Laura Sales (University of California Riverside)
Else Starkenburg (University of Groningen)
Dan Weisz (University of California Berkeley)
John Wise (Georgia Tech)

Important Dates

All deadlines are at 23:59 UTC.
1st February 2024 Abstract submission opens
31st March 2024 Abstract submission closes
mid-April 2024 Decision on abstract contribution
1st May 2024 Registration opens
15th June 2024 Registration closes
29th July – 2nd August 2024 Conference

Abstract Submission and Registration

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission for talk/poster contributions can be accessed through this link. Note the deadline is March 31st 2024 at 23:59 UTC. All personally identifiable information will be blinded during the selection process.
This conference has an in-person format. However, we would like to make it as accessible as possible, and remote contributions under special circumstances (e.g. visa issues, childcare, etc.) will be considered.


The registration will open at a later date (see above).

Code of Conduct

The organisers are committed to making this meeting productive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, nationality or religion. We will not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. All participants are required to abide by the following Code of Conduct to help us achieve a safe and positive conference for everyone. Please follow these guidelines:

  1. Be kind to and respect others. Do not insult or put down other attendees.
  2. Behave professionally. Harassment and sexist, racist, or exclusionary comments or jokes are not appropriate. Harassment includes sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, sexual attention or innuendo, deliberate intimidation, stalking, and photography or recording of an individual without consent. It also includes offensive comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion.
  3. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate.
Participants asked to stop any inappropriate behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Attendees violating these rules may be asked to leave the event at the sole discretion of the organisers without a refund of any charge.

Any participant who wishes to report a violation of this policy is asked to speak, in confidence, to either Sownak Bose (, Azi Fattahi (, any member of the SOC, or one of the astronomy allies.


This code of conduct is based on the "London Code of Conduct", as originally designed for the conference "Accurate Astrophysics. Correct Cosmology", held in London in July 2015. The London Code of Conduct was adapted with permission by Andrew Pontzen and Hiranya Peiris from a document by Software Carpentry, which itself derives from original Creative Commons documents by PyCon and Geek Feminism. It is released under a CC-Zero licence for reuse.

Conference Programme



Visa Invitation Letter

If you require a visa to attend the conference, we can provide an invitation letter for you to include in your UK visa application. Please contact

Kids & Childcare

For those bringing family and children with them to Durham during the conference, a list of entertainment suggestions are provided on the "Things to do" tab below.
You can also find a list of registered local childcare professionals at the Durham County Council Families Information Service. St Oswald’s School, which is a ~5min walk to the conference, runs a nursery and kids club (see here). The Physics Department has a dedicated EDI room, which can be used for nursing, etc. If you need more information, please contact the organisers.

The Venue

The conference will be held in the Kingsley Barrett Lecture Theatre (CLC407) in the Calman Learning Centre on the Durham University Science site. The nearest airport is Newcastle Airport (about 40min-1hr by taxi) and the nearest train station is in Durham City centre (25 min walk or a 5 min taxi ride).

Eating out

Durham has a wide range of restaurants and cafes around town. If you'd like some ideas on where to go to eat, we've listed a selection of the options within walking distance of the Physics Department and the town centre here.

Places to Stay

Coming soon.

Things to do

For suggestions on activities (including good pubs) around the Durham area, see here.


  • Address

    Ogden Centre West
    Durham University
    Durham, DH1 3LE
    United Kingdom