Dr. Nicolas B. Cowan
(514) 398-1967

McGill Space Institute 202
3550 rue University
Montreal, QC

Curriculum Vitae


I'm an assistant professor in the departments of Physics and Earth & Planetary Sciences at McGill University, as well as a member of the interdisciplinary McGill Space Institute, the Montreal-wide Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes, the province-wide Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec and the Canada-wide Technologies for Exo-Planetary Science. At McGill, I teach EPSC/PHYS-186 Astrobiology, ATOC/PHYS-404 Climate Physics, PHYS-641 Observational Astrophysics, and PHYS-642 Radiative Processes.

I study the surfaces and atmospheres of exoplanets by monitoring how their brightness and color change with time (for more details, read this brief review or this in-depth review). I'm an instigator of the ExoClimes meetings, which (unsurprisingly!) cover most of the scientific areas that interest me. As a member of the LUVOIR STDT and many other NASA/CSA committees, I promote research in planetary climate and help shape the landscape of future exoplanet missions. Here are videos of recent talks I've given to the public, scientists at large, and planetary scientists. When not working, I can usually be found playing with my son and enjoying the outdoors.

The McGill Exoplanet Characterization group (MECha) also includes: Taylor Bell (reflected light from hot Jupiters using ground and space-based telescopes), Lisa Dang (thermal phase curves of hot Jupiters using the Spitzer Space Telescope), Claire Guimond (optimizing the search for Earth twins with next-generation direct-imaging experiments), Dylan Keating (near-infrared spectroscopy of hot Jupiters), and Dr. Holly Sheets (characterization of exoplanets using the Kepler mission). Previous team members include James Bushong, Pablo Fuentes, Jackson Hoffart, CJ Hansen, Diana Jovmir, Maximilien Lamberti, Carl Majeau, Sara Rastegar, Louis Shekhtman, Joel Schwartz, Talia Strait, and Sudarsan Sundararajan.