UCL Astrophysics Group


Dr Jo Barstow Eberhardt

Module Leader

Dept of Physics & Astronomy

Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

Joined UCL
13th Apr 2016

Research summary

Dr Barstow's research area is planetary atmosphere modelling, with a current focus on extrasolar planets. She uses spectral inversion techniques to infer atmospheric temperature structure and the presence of gases and aerosols from spectra obtained during exoplanet transit and eclipse. Her particular interest is modelling and observation of clouds and hazes on exoplanets. Recent work includes a comparative study of cloudy hot Jupiters, and an investigation into the observability of terrestrial planets around M dwarf stars using the James Webb Space Telescope.

Dr Barstow is a Science Working Group lead for the ARIEL candidate mission (https://ariel-spacemission.eu/) and holds a Royal Astronomical Society research fellowship to investigate the influence of host stars on exoplanet atmospheres.

Teaching summary

Dr Barstow currently lectures the second year course on exoplanets and planetary science for the Certificate in Astronomy. This course covers the basic theory of planet formation; the origins of life and habitability; exoplanet detection and observation; and planetary atmospheric science.


University of Oxford
DPhil, Planetary Science | 2012
University of Cambridge
MSci, Natural Sciences | 2008


Dr Barstow is a researcher in exoplanetary atmospheric science with a broad planetary science background. Her DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford dealt with remote sensing of the sulphuric acid cloud on Venus, during which she was involved in the VIRTIS instrument team for the ESA Venus Express mission. More recently, she has used data from the VIMS instrument on the Cassini spacecraft to constrain the properties of Saturn’s tropospheric cloud and haze. Since arriving at UCL her focus has been comparative studies of exoplanets.