Director, UW Astrobiology Program
Professor, Astronomy

Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures
Space Exploration




PAB B380


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Victoria Meadows

Dr. Meadows is a 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 NASA NExSS 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.

Current Students & Postdocs:

Past Students & Postdocs:

Selected Publications

Tilley, M. A., Segura, A., Meadows, V., Hawley, S., & Davenport, J. (2019). Modeling Repeated M Dwarf Flaring at an Earth-like Planet in the Habitable Zone: Atmospheric Effects for an Unmagnetized Planet. Astrobiology, 64–86.

Lustig-Yaeger, J., Meadows, V. S., Tovar Mendoza, G., Schwieterman, E. W., Fujii, Y., Luger, R., & Robinson, T. D. (2018). Detecting Ocean Glint on Exoplanets Using Multiphase Mapping. The Astronomical Journal, 301.

Lincowski, A. P., Meadows, V. S., Crisp, D., Robinson, T. D., Luger, R., Lustig-Yaeger, J., & Arney, G. N. (2018). Evolved Climates and Observational Discriminants for the TRAPPIST-1 Planetary System. The Astrophysical Journal, 76.

Meadows, V. S., Reinhard, C. T., Arney, G. N., Parenteau, M. N., Schwieterman, E. W., Domagal-Goldman, S. D., … Grenfell, J. L. (2018). Exoplanet Biosignatures: Understanding Oxygen as a Biosignature in the Context of Its Environment. Astrobiology, 630–662.

Meadows, V. S., Arney, G. N., Schwieterman, E. W., Lustig-Yaeger, J., Lincowski, A. P., Robinson, T., … Crisp, D. (2018). The Habitability of Proxima Centauri b: Environmental States and Observational Discriminants. Astrobiology, 133–189.

Arney, G., Domagal-Goldman, S. D., & Meadows, V. S. (2018). Organic Haze as a Biosignature in Anoxic Earth-like Atmospheres. Astrobiology, 311–329.

Meadows, V. S. (2017). Reflections on O2 as a Biosignature in Exoplanetary Atmospheres. Astrobiology, 1022–1052.

Luger, R., Lustig-Yaeger, J., Fleming, D. P., Tilley, M. A., Agol, E., Meadows, V. S., … Barnes, R. (2017). The Pale Green Dot: A Method to Characterize Proxima Centauri b Using Exo-Aurorae. The Astrophysical Journal, 63.

Arney, G. N., Meadows, V. S., Domagal-Goldman, S. D., Deming, D., Robinson, T. D., Tovar, G., … Schwieterman, E. (2017). Pale Orange Dots: The Impact of Organic Haze on the Habitability and Detectability of Earthlike Exoplanets. The Astrophysical Journal, 49.

Arney, G., Domagal-Goldman, S. D., Meadows, V. S., Wolf, E. T., Schwieterman, E., Charnay, B., … Trainer, M. G. (2016). The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth. Astrobiology, 873–899.

Shields, A. L., Barnes, R., Agol, E., Charnay, B., Bitz, C., & Meadows, V. S. (2016). The Effect of Orbital Configuration on the Possible Climates and Habitability of Kepler-62f. Astrobiology, 443–464.

Schwieterman, E. W., Meadows, V. S., Domagal-Goldman, S. D., Deming, D., Arney, G. N., Luger, R., … Barnes, R. (2016). IDENTIFYING PLANETARY BIOSIGNATURE IMPOSTORS: SPECTRAL FEATURES OF CO AND O4RESULTING FROM ABIOTIC O2/O3PRODUCTION. The Astrophysical Journal, L13.

Krissansen-Totton, J., Schwieterman, E. W., Charnay, B., Arney, G., Robinson, T. D., Meadows, V., & Catling, D. C. (2016). IS THE PALE BLUE DOT UNIQUE? OPTIMIZED PHOTOMETRIC BANDS FOR IDENTIFYING EARTH-LIKE EXOPLANETS. The Astrophysical Journal, 31.

Barnes, R., Meadows, V. S., & Evans, N. (2015). COMPARATIVE HABITABILITY OF TRANSITING EXOPLANETS. The Astrophysical Journal, 91.

Charnay, B., Meadows, V., Misra, A., Leconte, J., & Arney, G. (2015). 3D MODELING OF GJ1214b’s ATMOSPHERE: FORMATION OF INHOMOGENEOUS HIGH CLOUDS AND OBSERVATIONAL IMPLICATIONS. The Astrophysical Journal, L1.

Charnay, B., Meadows, V., & Leconte, J. (2015). 3D MODELING OF GJ1214B’S ATMOSPHERE: VERTICAL MIXING DRIVEN BY AN ANTI-HADLEY CIRCULATION. The Astrophysical Journal, 15.

Schwieterman, E. W., Robinson, T. D., Meadows, V. S., Misra, A., & Domagal-Goldman, S. (2015). DETECTING AND CONSTRAINING N2ABUNDANCES IN PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES USING COLLISIONAL PAIRS. The Astrophysical Journal, 57.

Schwieterman, E. W., Cockell, C. S., & Meadows, V. S. (2015). Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures. Astrobiology, 341–361.

Luger, R., Barnes, R., Lopez, E., Fortney, J., Jackson, B., & Meadows, V. (2015). Habitable Evaporated Cores: Transforming Mini-Neptunes into Super-Earths in the Habitable Zones of M Dwarfs. Astrobiology, 57–88.



Arney, G., Meadows, V., Crisp, D., Schmidt, S. J., Bailey, J., & Robinson, T. (2014). Spatially resolved measurements of H2O, HCl, CO, OCS, SO2, cloud opacity, and acid concentration in the Venus near-infrared spectral windows. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 1860–1891.

Robinson, T. D., Ennico, K., Meadows, V. S., Sparks, W., Bussey, D. B. J., Schwieterman, E. W., & Breiner, J. (2014). DETECTION OF OCEAN GLINT AND OZONE ABSORPTION USINGLCROSSEARTH OBSERVATIONS. The Astrophysical Journal, 171.

Shields, A. L., Bitz, C. M., Meadows, V. S., Joshi, M. M., & Robinson, T. D. (2014). SPECTRUM-DRIVEN PLANETARY DEGLACIATION DUE TO INCREASES IN STELLAR LUMINOSITY. The Astrophysical Journal, L9.

Misra, A., Meadows, V., Claire, M., & Crisp, D. (2014). Using Dimers to Measure Biosignatures and Atmospheric Pressure for Terrestrial Exoplanets. Astrobiology, 67–86.

Shields, A. L., Meadows, V. S., Bitz, C. M., Pierrehumbert, R. T., Joshi, M. M., & Robinson, T. D. (2013). The Effect of Host Star Spectral Energy Distribution and Ice-Albedo Feedback on the Climate of Extrasolar Planets. Astrobiology, 715–739.

Chamberlain, S., Bailey, J., Crisp, D., & Meadows, V. (2013). Ground-based near-infrared observations of water vapour in the Venus troposphere. Icarus, 364–378.

Domagal-Goldman, S. D., Meadows, V. S., Claire, M. W., & Kasting, J. F. (2011). Using Biogenic Sulfur Gases as Remotely Detectable Biosignatures on Anoxic Planets. Astrobiology, 419–441.

Robinson, T. D., Meadows, V. S., Crisp, D., Deming, D., A’Hearn, M. F., Charbonneau, D., … Wellnitz, D. D. (2011). Earth as an Extrasolar Planet: Earth Model Validation Using EPOXI Earth Observations. Astrobiology, 393–408.

Segura, A., Walkowicz, L. M., Meadows, V., Kasting, J., & Hawley, S. (2010). The Effect of a Strong Stellar Flare on the Atmospheric Chemistry of an Earth-like Planet Orbiting an M Dwarf. Astrobiology, 751–771.

Robinson, T. D., Meadows, V. S., & Crisp, D. (2010). DETECTING OCEANS ON EXTRASOLAR PLANETS USING THE GLINT EFFECT. The Astrophysical Journal, L67–L71.

Cowan, N. B., Agol, E., Meadows, V. S., Robinson, T., Livengood, T. A., … Deming, D. (2009). ALIEN MAPS OF AN OCEAN-BEARING WORLD. The Astrophysical Journal, 915–923.

Segura, A., Meadows, V. S., Kasting, J. F., Crisp, D., & Cohen, M. (2007). Abiotic formation of O2 and O3 in high-CO2 terrestrial atmospheres. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 665–679.

Segura, A., Kasting, J. F., Meadows, V., Cohen, M., Scalo, J., Crisp, D., … Tinetti, G. (2005). Biosignatures from Earth-Like Planets Around M Dwarfs. Astrobiology, 706–725.

Tinetti, G., Meadows, V. S., Crisp, D., Fong, W., Velusamy, T., & Snively, H. (2005). Disk-Averaged Synthetic Spectra of Mars. Astrobiology, 461–482.

Segura, A., Krelove, K., Kasting, J. F., Sommerlatt, D., Meadows, V., Crisp, D., … Mlawer, E. (2003). Ozone Concentrations and Ultraviolet Fluxes on Earth-Like Planets Around Other Stars. Astrobiology, 689–708.

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