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Understanding how galaxies form in the early universe and their subsequent evolution through cosmic time is a major goal of modern astrophysics. Panchromatic look-back sky surveys significantly advanced the field in the past decade, and we are now entering an even more fruitful period - a 'golden age' of radio astronomy - with new facilities delivering an order of magnitude increase in sensitivity, such as the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA), Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Two unique, state-of-the-art radio sky surveys with the JVLA (VLA-COSMOS 3 GHz Large Project) and ATCA that will push to the next frontiers, and reveal the mechanisms that shape galaxies over cosmic time are carried out the the University of Zagreb (PI: Smolcic; see Figure on the right).

The ZGal research group focuses on the growth of stellar and supermassive black-hole mass in galaxies throughout cosmic time by:

  1. probing the contribution of various types of galaxies over cosmic time at faint radio levels, revealing the debated abundance of faint radio sources,

  2. exploring and understanding star formation conditions at early cosmic times, allowing to access for the first time the dust-unbiased cosmic star formation history since the epoch of reionization,

  3. performing the first census of the high-redshift starbursting galaxies, the so-called submillimeter galaxies, and their role in galaxy formation and evolution, and

  4. performing a full census of galaxies hosting supermassive black holes (i.e. active galactic nuclei), with different black-hole accretion modes, exploring their roles in galaxy evolution (in particular AGN feedback), and their relation to the cosmic star formation history.

The exploitation of these radio sky surveys is important for the preparation of the future large facilities like ASKAP (Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder), and the SKA (Square Kilometre Array).