(1) Understanding the formation of the central regions of disk galaxies (2) High angular resolution and high contrast to study exoplanetary systems

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(1) In the last decades, numerous exoplanetary systems have been detected and studied with different techniques. Obtaining direct images of such systems is important, essentially because this permits to investigate numerous physical parameters not necessarily determined with indirect methods. Imaging also help us to study the planets birthplace, the circumstellar disk, and to put this in relation with the planets forming processes. Key observational and instrumental aspects here are high angular resolution and high contrast. I will first give an overview here of my instrumentation interests and work to serve this direction, and then show how high angular resolution observations can help to address this scientific question using interferometry or direct imaging in the mid-infrared. I will also briefly present novel and interesting aspects of my recent research activity at the IAC and which aims at searching for low-mass companions (ultimately planets) in the optical regime.

(2) Understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the most important problems in modern cosmology. Bulges and bars, play an important role in this evolution and therefore understanding how they form is a crucial step in understanding galaxy formation. My work until now have been aimed to better understand the formation and evolution scenarios which could lead to the bulges and bars observed in the nearby universe. This study has been performed from an observational point of view, analyzing the structural, photometric,kinematic, and stellar population characteristics of these galaxy components. In this talk, I will briefly review the results obtained from this research and I will describe my current place at the IAC as a member of the CONSOLIDER/ESTALLIDOS group.