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Dr. John E. Moores
Dr. John E. Moores, Associate Professor and York Research Chair in Space Exploration

ABOUT Dr. John E. Moores

Brief Biography

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering and hold the York Research Chair in Space Exploration at York University (with a graduate appointment in the Earth and Space Science and Physics and Astronomy Departments). I am a member of the Royal Society of Canada's College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists as well as a Participating Scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission, popularly known as the Curiosity Rover. After training on MER in 2004, I contributed to the 2005 Huygens Mission to Saturn's Moon Titan and the 2008 Phoenix Mission to the Martian Arctic and currently serve on the InSight, MSL and Juno missions in various capacities. My work has been included in 65 peer-reviewed papers and 152 conference proceedings. I am the Director of the Technologies for Exo/Planetary Science NSERC CREATE Program, a member of the Canadian Space Agency's Planetary Exploration Consultation Committee, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society's Scientific Committee and a York University Senator.

I am currently developing planetary simulation facilities at York University as part of the Planetary Volatile Laboratory and am supporting Surface Operations on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover. Previously, I have led experimental studies into interactions of volatiles with the martian surface and polar caps. I have also participated in the development of the Surface Stereo Imager for the Phoenix Lander and have been involved in several conceptual space mission design studies, instrument development activities and analogue planetary missions. I have experience modeling scattering in the atmospheres of Earth and of Mars from the ultraviolet into the near infra-red and dynamical modeling of the Martian atmosphere. Recently, my work has led to the first direct detection of fog on Mars, to estimates of the methane content of the martian atmosphere from exogenous sources and the role of adsorption (in Nature Geoscience), as well as the publication in Nature of the first identification of penitentes on another planet.

Over the past six years, members of my laboratory have been awarded the NASA Group Achievement Award 16 times, most recently in 2017.

Click Here to view a partial list of my peer-reviewed publications
Click Here to view a partial list of my publications (including conference abstracts)


  • Named York Research Chair in Space Exploration (2019)
  • York University Research Leader (2018-2019)
  • Named to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Royal Society of Canada (2018)
  • York University Research Leader (2016-2017)
  • Lassonde School of Engineering Innovator of the Year-Early Career (2016) 
  • Province of Ontario Early Career Researcher Award (2016)
  • NSERC Discovery Grant Holder 2013-2024
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards (4) for contributions to MSL
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards (2) for contributions to Phoenix
  • 2010 NSERC PDF/ Canadian Astrobiology Training Program PDF
  • 2009 Roger Daley Postdoctoral Publication Award
  • University of Arizona Galileo Scholar (2006;2008)
  • 2004 University of Arizona Space Prize


PhD (2008, Planetary Sciences)
   University of Arizona, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Advisor: Peter H. Smith
   Dissertation: Effects of Insolation on Habitability and the History of Martian Water

B.A.Sc. (2003, Engineering Science - Aerospace/Space Systems)
   University of Toronto. Advisor: James D. DeLaurier
   Thesis: Potential Flow 2-Dimensional Vortex Panel Model:
                Applications to Wingmills

For more information, please email jmoores [at]