This international conference is part of a series of conferences that have been dedicated to the topic of Cosmic Flows over the last two decades: most recently 2012 in Queensland, Australia, 2013 in Marseille, France and 2016 in Quy Nhon, Vietnam.

Progress has been made on various fronts — such as on the reconstruction and presentation of flow fields from peculiar velocity catalogues and surveys like 2MTF and 6dFGRS, first results from the SKA Pathfinders and the TAIPAN survey, and the 3D-visualisation front where sophisticated tools are now being used to scientifically analyse data sets such as HI-data cubes, cosmological maps, simulations, by immersing yourself inside the data using Virtual Reality to interactively view and interrogate the data using varying parameter settings.

Our aims are to discuss and review the following topics, with a vision to future goals:

  • Distance determinations, redshift and peculiar velocity surveys
    • Large-scale structures in the nearby Universe
    • Surveys of the Zone of Avoidance
    • Local voids and superclusters
    • First results from new surveys (SKA Pathfinders, TAIPAN, etc.)
    • Peculiar velocity surveys and catalogues (FP, TF, SNe, kSZ, CosmicFlows, etc.)
    • Redshift space distortions in BAO Surveys (WiggleZ, BOSS, eBOSS, DESI, TAIPAN, Euclid, etc.)
    • Distance ladder and H
    • Promising future methods: transverse velocities  (GAIA, LSST, etc.)
  • Cosmic flow fields
    • Linear and non-linear velocity field reconstructions
    • Comparison of redshift data and flow fields
    • Bulk flows and velocity field models
  • Visualisation and Modelling (to take place at the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome in Cape Town)
    • New immersive tools and software of 3D-visualisation
    • New approaches to modelling and fitting the peculiar velocity field
    • Natural and efficient multi-dimensional inspection using Virtual Reality

The conference will consist of plenary sessions, with in-depth review talks and contributed talks on specific specialised topics, as well as posters, including selected panel discussions.

Scientific Organising Committee

Renée Kraan-Korteweg, University of Cape Town, South Africa – Chair
Maciej Bilicki, Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Acad. of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Matthew Colless, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Hélène Courtois, University of Lyon, France
Mike Hudson, University of Waterloo, Canada
Tom Jarrett, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Alice Pisani, Princeton University, USA
Ivy Wong, International Centre of Radio Astronomy Research, Australia

Local Organising Committee

Renée Kraan-Korteweg, University of Cape Town – Chair
Roslyn Daniels, University of Cape Town
Lucia Marchetti, University of Cape Town / University of the Western Cape
Carolina Ödman-Govender, Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy
Anja Schroeder, South African Astronomical Observatory


Should you have any questions, queries or comments you can send them through to the CosFlows Team at



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High-resolution PDF

Poster design: Carolina Ödman-Govender

2020 will see the bicentenary of the establishment, in 1820, of of the The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope  the precursor to the South African Astronomical Observatory  (SAAO). This was the first permanent astronomical observatory in the southern hemisphere. Various events will be held throughout the year to mark this, with the highlight being a large international conference and astronomy festival in October 2020.

Moreover, the UCT Astronomy Department will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in this same year. Various research aspects in which the department has been active over the last 50 years will be highlighted in 2020 with special events and workshops. Given the long tradition over the existence of the UCT Astronomy Department in mapping the large-scale structure of galaxies and associated flow fields, we are particularly delighted to host the next conference in the series on ‘Cosmic Flows’ in the Western Cape. 


 STIAS (The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study), Stellenbosch, South Africa

The conference will be held at STIAS, the Wallenberg Centre of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, about 30 min drive from Cape Town International airport (CPT), and about 40 min drive from Cape Town.

Stellebosch is picturesque  with many cosy restaurants, guest houses and hotels. It is quite popular with tourists and entirely safe to wander around until late in the summer evenings. The town’s oak-shaded streets are lined with cafés, boutiques and art galleries. Cape Dutch architecture gives a sense of South Africa’s Dutch colonial history, as do the Village Museum’s period houses and gardens.Stellenbosch is located in South Africa’s Western Cape province, It is surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the mountainous nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg.

The STIAS conference Centre is in easy walking distance to a range of hotels and B&Bs in Stellenbosch (see accommodation page).

How to get there from the airport

We recommend using only licensed taxis. Uber works very well in Cape Town.



Because Stellenbosch such a popular tourist destination,we recommend you book your accommodation early.

The following hotels and guest houses are within walking distance of STIAS – kindly check or Google for a general price range of the rooms:

Note:  Kindly ignore any phone-calls offering help with hotel bookings. This is part of a world-wide scam.


Registration is open between November 1, 2019 and January 15, 2020.


Abstract submission

Abstract submission is open between November 1, 2019 and December 7, 2019. Participants will be notified about acceptance of their contribution as talk or poster by January 6, 2020. Please note that an abstract submission does not constitute a registration.


Registration Fees*

Full Fee – R 5 750.00
Student Fee – R 3 500.00
Partner Fee – R 2000.00
* Registration fees are inclusive of the following:
  • Student and Full Fees: Covers Sunday evening reception, Wednesday morning session at the Iziko Planetarium (incl lunch), afternoon excursion (including wine-tasting), Thursday conference dinner; as well as all lunches and coffee breaks at STIAS
  • Partner Fees: Covers Sunday evening reception, Wednesday morning visit to the Iziko Planetarium and/or Company Gardens (incl lunch), afternoon excursion (including wine-tasting), Thursday conference dinner.

Code of Conduct

The professional Code of Conduct outlined by the International Astronomical Union will be upheld throughout this conference. Participants of this workshop are required to comply with the following guidelines:

I. 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 race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size or religion.

II. All communication should be appropriate for a professional audience including people of many different backgrounds. Sexual or sexist language and imagery is not appropriate.

III. Be considerate and respectful to others. Do not insult or put down other attendees. Critique ideas rather than individuals.

Attendees violating these guidelines 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 any of the SOC/LOC members.

Invited Speakers

Miguel Aragon-Salvo, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico
Tracing the Cosmic Web

Rachael Beaton, Princeton University, USA
H0 tension and the distance ladder

Christopher Fluke, Swinburne University, Australia
Changing the way we visualise: one galaxy at a time

Francisco-shu Kitaura, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Spain and Departamento de Astrofísica, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
Weighting the invisible in the Local Universe

Noam Libeskind, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, Germany and Institut de Physique Nucléaire de Lyon (IPNL), Université de Lyon, France
Insights from the Lorentz theoretical Cosmic Web workshop (27-31 Jan 2020)

Yin-Zhe Ma, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The kinetic Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect: new window for probing dynamics of the Universe
Lucia Marchetti, University of Cape Town & University of the Western Cape, South Africa

New immersive tools and software of 3D-visualisation

Elena Pierpaoli, University of Southern California, USA
Pairwise velocity measurements with upcoming surveys

Khaled Said, RSSA, Australian National University, Australia
Analysis of the 6dFGSv and SDSS peculiar velocities for structure growth rate and tests of gravity

Pauline Zarrouk, Durham University, UK
The DESI Bright Galaxy Survey

Ofer Lahav, University College London, UK
Conference Summary


A full programme will be published when available.

Sunday, 16 February 2019

Reception Dinner

Monday, 17 February 2019


Tuesday, 18 February 2019


Wednesday, 19 February 2019

Morning: Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome
Afternoon: Excursion

Thursday, 20 February 2019

Conference Dinner

Friday, 21 February 2019

Presentations & Closing of Conference