Globular Clusters provide a unique method for tracing the formation and evolution of their host galaxies. As single stellar populations they are far easier to interpret than the multi-population complexity of galaxy field stars. The scaling properties of globular clusters provide important constraints on the hierarchical assembly history of galaxies. Here we briefly review recent progress using the Hubble Space Telescope for imaging and the Keck plus Gemini telescopes for spectroscopy. We argue that the red, or metal-rich, subpopulation of GCs is associated with the bulge/spheroid component of galaxies. As one of the oldest stellar systems available for study, we discuss how globular clusters can be used to constrain the formation of galaxy bulges, in particular the role of mergers vs secular evolution. We conclude that metal-rich GCs, and hence bulges, formed very early in the Universe with more recent mergers having a small effect at most.
Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union Symposium S245: Formation and Evolution of Galaxy Bulges, Oxford, United Kingdom, 16-20 July 2007 / Martin Bureau, E. Athanassoula and Beatriz Barbuy (eds.),
Vol. 3, pp. 281-284