Curriculum Vitae

CV for Dr. Leigh Fletcher


2015-Today:    Senior Lecturer and Royal Society University Research Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester

2013-2015:      Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF), Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics Department, University of Oxford

2010-2012:      Glasstone Science Fellow & Junior Research Fellow, University College, Oxford

2008-2009:      NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena CA, USA



Oct 2004-Sep 2007:     DPhil in Planetary Science, Jesus College, University of Oxford

Saturn’s Atmospheric Structure and Composition from Cassini/CIRS

Oct 2003-Jul 2004:      MSci 1st class in Natural Science, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.

Oct 2000-Jul 2003:      BA 1st class in Natural Science, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge.



  • Selection as one of three Interdisciplinary Scientists (IDS) for ESA’s JUICE mission (2015).
  • Royal Astronomical Society (UK): Winton Capital Award “for exceptionally promising early career development” in Geophysics (2010)
  • Royal Astronomical Society (UK): Keith Runcorn Prize for Best Thesis in Planetary Science (2007).
  • One of the ‘Next Big Names in Astronomy’: Astronomy NOW Magazine (2010)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Cassini/CIRS Team (2009).
  • Prime Minister’s Inspiring Young Scientists Reception, Downing Street (2007).
  • Science Communication Award, Researchers in Residence, Research Councils UK (2006).
  • Kerslake and Hooper Senior Scholarships, University of Cambridge (2002-04).



2016-2019:      STFC Consolidated Grant Award, PDRA support over 3 years.

2013-2018:      Royal Society URF for salary support (5 years), £11k p.a. research expenses.

2013-2015:      Royal Society Studentship Grant (£80k over 3 years)

2013:               Awarded STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowship (2012-2017, declined for URF).

2012:               Awarded Royal Astronomical Society Research Fellowship (2012-2015, declined for URF).

2010-2013:      Oxford Glasstone Fellowship: 3-year salary support, including £5k p.a. research allowance.

2008-2009:      NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship: 2-year salary support, plus $8k p.a. research allowance.


MISSION INVOLVEMENT (Current and Future):

  • Cassini: Co-investigator, Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) and Saturn specialist (2004-Now); Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) team collaborator (2009-Now).
  • NASA/Juno: Ground-based observation support team (led by G. Orton) (2014-Now).
  • ESA Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE): Interdisciplinary Scientist (one of three, 2015-Now); Science Working Team executive committee member.  ESA Study Support Scientist (one of two, 2013-Now).  Science Review Panellist (2013-2014). Co-Investigator (UV Spectrograph; MAJIS near-IR spectrometer). ESA Science Definition Team (Jupiter Atmosphere Lead, 2010-2012); NASA Europa-Jupiter System Mission Joint Science Team (2008-2010).
  • Future Proposals: NASA Discovery (2014): Kuiper Space Telescope Co-I.  Europa Clipper (2014): Instrumental co-I on Europa Camera.  ESA L2/L3 Themes (2013):  PI, Planetary Science Observatory Concept; Co-lead for Saturn Atmospheric Probe; atmospheres expert for Uranus and Neptune missions.  ESA M3/4 (2010/14):  Uranus Pathfinder core team, atmospheres lead, PI Thermal Radiometer Instrument; Saturn probe (Hera) core team, camera co-PI; Exoplanet Observatory (EchO/ARIEL) Spectroscopy & Retrieval Group.
  • JWST Giant Planet Working Group (2014-Now), preparing observing schemes for 2018+.



Principal investigator of multiple successful (20+) ground-based imaging and spectroscopy proposals for giant planet atmospheres and satellites from IRTF, Gemini, VLT, GranTeCan and Palomar since 2006.  Hands-on experience observing from IRTF and Subaru.  Principal Investigator for Herschel observations of Saturn.  Co-investigator of observations from Subaru, Keck, SOFIA, Hubble and Spitzer.


PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS  (H-Index of 23 (Web of Science) or 27 (Google Scholar).

  • 107 peer-reviewed publications since 2006 (including 2 lead authorships in Science and five Nature/Science co-authorships); 23 first-author publications (2 Science, 3 Astronomy & Astrophysics, 16 Icarus, 1 Phil. Trans. of the Royal Society, 1 Astro. & Geophysics); 23 significant technical reports/white papers; 5 book contributions; 1 book review (Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation); 1 Nature News and Views, 7 papers under review.
  • Lead author of ‘Saturn’s Seasons’ review chapter in upcoming book Saturn in the 21st Century.
  • Full list of publications here.



  • PhD Supervisor:  Dr. Jaemin Lee (2010-2013, currently PDRA in ETH Zurich), Exoplanet Retrieval Analysis; Ms. Rohini Giles (2013-Present), Jupiter Atmospheric Dynamics.
  • Postdoctoral supervisor: Dr. D. Tice (Uranus clouds, 2010-2014); Dr. C. Merlet (Saturn clouds, 2010-2013), Dr. J. Sinclair (Saturn hydrocarbons, 2010-2014).
  • Examiner, Atmospheric Physics MPhys Theses (4th year projects); BA Reports; DPhil Transfer Vivas.
  • MPhys Masters Project Supervisor (2009-Present).
  • Lecturing: 4th year guest lectures (atmospheric physics); 3rd year option (exoplanets) at Oxford.
  • Class Teaching:  2010-2014: Oxford Tutor for 4th year courses:  Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans
  • Tutorial Teaching:  2004-2007: Oxford Tutor for Atmospheric Physics (3rd year); Astrophysics (3rd year).  2014-2015:  Tutor for Fluid Flows and Complexity (3rd year)



2013:               Review Panel, Royal Astronomical Society Fellowship Committee (one of six).

2011-2015:      Vice President, International Committee on Planetary Atmospheres and their

Evolution (ICPAE, a committee of IAMAS); committee member (2009-2011).

2008-2010:      International Outer Planet Watch committee member

2009:               Coordinator of US decadal survey white papers on Jupiter, Saturn and Ice Giants.



2014:   Science Organising Committee, Ice Giant Workshop, Applied Physics Laboratory, Maryland, USA.

2013-15: Convener, Planetary symposia of Davos Atmosphere and Cryosphere Assembly, IUGG (Prague)

2013:   Science Organising Committee, Uranus after Voyager 2, Meudon, France.

2012:   Lead Organiser, Future Exploration of the Outer Solar System meeting, Royal Astro. Soc.

2009-Present: Convener for European Planetary Science Congress giant planet sessions.



Journals: Science, Icarus, Geophysical Research Letters, Astrophysical Journal, Nature Geoscience.  Books: Saturn from Cassini-Huygens (2009).  Proposals: STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellowships (2012-2015); STFC Astronomy Grants (2010-2015); NASA Outer Planets Research Program & Cassini Data Analysis Program (2010-2012); Gemini Telescope Proposals (2010-11).



  • Regular presentations (around 1 per month) to schools, astronomy societies and general public, particularly during National Science and Engineering Week and in association with BBC Stargazing Live, see for full details.
  • Oxford Physics Access and Outreach Committee Member.
  • Science and Engineering Ambassador, Oxford Trust (2005-2015); Fellow of RCUK Researchers in Residence Scheme (2005-2007).
  • Prestigious Lectures: Astronomy Ireland (2015), Cunard Guest Astronomer (Queen Mary 2); Society for Popular Astronomy (2012), British Astronomical Society Pro-Amateur Meeting (Norwich, UK, 2011).
  • Social Media & Blogging (Twitter, @LeighFletcher 1500+ followers, blog:, 80,000 page views since 2012)
  • Television:  6 appearances on BBC Sky at Night, approximate 1 million viewers per show (2010-2014).
  • Radio:  BBC Oxford, BBC Material World, Radio Cardiff, Naked Scientists, Science Boffins, Oxford Jack FM, Radio Cardiff, USA National Public Radio (NPR).

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