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Alastair Claringbold

I am a PhD student in the Astronomy and Astrophysics group at the University of Warwick, supervised by Peter Wheatley. I study the atmospheres of exoplanets, mainly through observation with infrared and optical telescopes, but also through atmospheric modelling, and linking the two with statistical retrievals to extract information about the chemistry and physics of atmospheres from real or synthetic data.

My current work focusses on the detection of molecules, atoms, clouds, and hazes using both infrared and optical transmission spectroscopy, from the ground (as part of the LRG-BEASTS survey) and in space (with JWST).

Research Interests

I have a strong theoretical interest in the physics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres, including photochemistry, dynamics, and cloud formation, particularly in temperate (Earth-adjacent temperatures e.g. 200-400 K) rocky planets and gas giants. I am particularly eager to detect interesting non-equilibrium chemistry in exoplanet atmospheres. One of the my main research interests is the origin and detection of life, particularly the detectability of molecules associated with the origin of life (prebiosignatures), with modern and future telescopes, including JWST and LIFE.

My previous work, undertaken during my integrated master's degree at the University of Cambridge, involved radiative transfer modelling of atmospheres containing prebiosignature molecules with JWST, and performing detection tests to estimate their detectability, under the supervision of Paul Rimmer and Sarah Rugheimer.

I am proficient with open-source software petitRADTRANS, HELIOS, and FastChem. I also developed the TriArc detection test pipeline built around petitRADTRANS forward modelling.


I demonstrate the A2: Astronomical Spectroscopy for 2nd year undergraduate students at the University of Warwick.

Write to:

Alastair Claringbold,
Department of Physics,
University of Warwick,
Coventry CV4 7AL

Contact details: