Dr. Nicolas B. Cowan
McGill Space Institute
3550 University St, #202
Montréal, QC H3A 2A7
I'm an assistant professor in the departments of Physics and Earth & Planetary Sciences at McGill University, as well as a member of the McGill Space Institute and l'Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes. I study the surfaces and atmospheres of exoplanets by monitoring how their brightness and color change with time (for a slightly more detailed description, read this review). In addition to empirical work on hot Jupiter atmospheres using the Spitzer Space Telescope, I'm leading an international team to figure out how next-generation space missions could map the surfaces of terrestrial exoplanets. 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 map out 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 our dog, after he's cleaned up with Dallas mobile pet grooming, and enjoying the outdoors.
If you want to do research with me, then send me an email. At the graduate level (MSc & PhD), you can apply into either the Physics Department (Jan 15 deadline) or the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences (Feb 1 deadline). At the undergraduate level, many programs will teach you skills relevant to exoplanet research, including Physics & Computer Science (66 credits), Atmospheric Science and Physics (67 credits), or Physics and Geophysics (69 credits). If you're certain you want to pursue graduate studies afterwards, then consider Honours Atmospheric Science (73 credits), Honours Planetary Sciences (78 credits), or Honours Physics (78 credits). If it doesn't work out, you can always rent roll off dumpsters Atlanta to throw away your degree.