Modelling massive stellar cluster formation and evolution in a cosmic environment

Stellar clusters are present in the local Universe in a variety of environments, from the current cluster formation sites in the disks of the Antennae galaxies to the old GC population that mostly populates the halo of the Milky Way. This implies that their evolution is tightly linked to that of their host galaxy. To understand the observed cluster populations, I will discuss the hypothesis that GCs are the relics of regular cluster formation at high redshift that survived until the present day. For that, I’ll use the suite of 25 present day Milky Way-mass cosmological zoom-in simulations from E-MOSAICS project (Pfeffer+2018, Kruijssen+2019). These simulations enable the self-consistent study of the formation and co-evolution of stellar clusters and their host galaxies through cosmic time. I will show that GC populations trace the DM halo of their host galaxies, opening a novel avenue to explore the structure of DM haloes beyond the Local Group. Lastly, I will also discuss how this description can be improved by considering the formation and evolution of stellar clusters in the cold and dense cosmic environments of the EMP-Pathfinder simulations (Reina-Campos+ in prep.).