Being complex systems containing vast amounts of gas, dust, and stars, galaxies allow us to study the Universe in great detail. It is inside these systems that stars form, and transform the simplest of elements, hydrogen, into heavy elements essential for life as we know it. In the last few years I have worked dissecting galaxies in an effort to obtain clues to their chemical evolution histories. Star clusters, both Globular and Young Massive Clusters (YMCs), are attractive test laboratories for several astrophysical reasons. Given that these objects can be observed and studied in detail at larger distances than individual stars, one can use them as tracers of stellar populations outside of our own Milky Way. Using spectroscopic observations of star clusters covering a broad range of ages (~2 Myr to ~12 Gyr) we probe the chemical enrichment history of the host galaxy. I will discuss recent work exploiting spectroscopic observations acquired with both the ESO Very Large Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope where we proved that both detailed abundance and metallicity analyses are possible for star clusters at distances of several Mpc.
Local contact: V. Lebouteiller