A Black Hole Safari through the Local Universe
Nicholas McConnell



Much of our understanding about the growth of black holes through cosmic time and their possible co-evolution with galaxies is anchored by empirical data from the local universe. Dynamical measurements of supermassive black holes in nearby spiral and elliptical galaxies have revealed scaling relations between black hole masses and bulk properties of their host galaxies. By advancing the quality and quantity of black hole mass measurements we can improve these relations' power to test galaxy evolution models and infer the present-day mass function of supermassive black holes. I will describe ongoing progress from the Black Hole Safari, a campaign to measure at least 30 new black hole masses in massive early-type galaxies. I will also attempt to quantify how systematic errors in individual measurements might bias the overall scaling relations and foil efforts to measure the cosmic scatter in black hole mass for low- versus high-mass galaxies.