The Merger Histories of Massive Galaxies at z
Carl J. Mundy
The University of Nottingham
Kenneth J Duncan (Leiden Observatory), Christopher J Conselice (University of Nottingham)
Galaxies build up their stellar mass via two main pathways: in-situ star formation and galaxy mergers. The merging of galaxies is thus a vital piece of the galaxy evolution puzzle, yet a definitive and consistent measure of their influence and frequency has not been established. Previously, mergers have been studied with two popular probes: morphological studies or close-pair statistics. These have historically been affected by incompleteness issues, uncertain statistical corrections and small sample sizes. We will present a new method of measuring the close-pair merger fraction of stellar-mass selected samples of galaxies using the full redshift probability information, exploiting the datasets provided by deep near-infrared surveys. We apply this method over 3 square degrees in three deep near-IR selected survey regions (the UDS, VIDEO and COSMOS) at z > 0.2, and within the GAMA regions at z