Black holes billion times more massive than
our sun are common in the centres of
galaxies in the Universe. The research
of my group focuses on answering how black holes grow
super-massive and what their origin is.
Our work shows that conditions in the early Universe promote the formation of seed black holes with up to a million solar masses in one single catastrophic event. Such seed black holes have an easier time becoming super-massive on a short time scale and could possibly explain the existence of super-massive black holes in the first billion years after the Big Bang.
Once seed black holes are in place their growth initially is fuelled mainly by gas infall (Paper) . The most massive of black holes thereafter continue growing by merging with other massive black holes releasing gravitational waves during this process.