This week, April 6-12, features Jonathan Fortney. Jonathan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is mostly a modeler and spends a lot of time thinking about how to characterize exoplanets. Jonathan’s interests range from the interior structure and thermal evolution of planets to planetary atmospheres and spectra. This is “planets” fairly broadly defined, and ranges from small rocky words to brown dwarfs at tens of Jupiter masses. Jonathan also works on solar system problems involving the interior structure of our giant planets. Lately he is particularly interested in using planetary bulk densities (from transits) or emitted spectra to understand exoplanetary composition, and tying that back to planet formation.
Jonathan has been a member of the Kepler science team since 2009 and is also a Co-I on the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey. His group at UC Santa Cruz covers a wide range of topics, and now includes 3 postdocs (Nadine Nettelmann:giant planet interiors, Mike Line: planetary atmospheres, Kevin Moore: double-diffusive convection), 4 grad students (Eric Lopez: sub-Neptune evolution, Caroline Morley: cloudy atmospheres, Daniel Thorngren:Transiting planet structure, Chris Mankovich: double-diffusive convection), and 6 undergrads. Jonathan normally tweets from @jjfplanet. Most non-science hours revolve around his family, including copyright guru @kfortney, his boys, age 4 and 7, and following Minnesota sports teams.