Director, UW Astrobiology Program
Box Number: 351580
Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures, Space Exploration
Dr. Meadows is an Associate Professor with the Astronomy Department and Director of the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington. She is also the Principal Investigator for the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory Lead Team. She has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of New South Wales, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the Astrophysics Department of the University of Sydney.
Dr. Meadows’ primary research interests are in the challenging area of using modeling and observations to determine how to recognize whether a distant extrasolar planet is able to harbor life. Her NAI Virtual Planetary Laboratory team develops innovative computer models that can be used to understand the terrestrial planet formation process, test planetary dynamical stability and orbital evolution, and simulate the environment and spectra of present day and early Earth, other Solar System planets, and plausible extrasolar terrestrial environments. This research group can assess the stability and habitability of newly discovered planetary systems and use their models to produce simulated data for extrasolar planet environments, to assist the design and development of future NASA planet detection and characterization missions.
In addition to her astrobiology research, Dr. Meadows remains a planetary astronomer, and her research interests also encompass remote-sensing observations and radiative transfer modeling of the lower atmosphere and clouds of Venus, the variable Earth, spectra of Titan and Neptune’s atmospheres, and the impacts of Comet SL-9 with Jupiter.