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 Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres (3222): People
James  Sinclair's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-601
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Email Contact:
Curriculum Vitae:

James Sinclair

James is a research scientist at JPL.  His research interests include the interaction between Jupiter’s stratosphere and its aurora and the structure, chemistry and seasonal evolution of the stratospheres of the outer planets.  This work involves the measurement and analysis of several datasets including mid-infrared observations from the Cassini and Voyager missions as well as Earth-based observations measured on the VLT, NASA’s IRTF, Gemini-North and Subaru. He grew up in Aberdeen in the United Kingdom.

  • DPhil Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics, University of Oxford (2014)
  • MPhys Astrophysics, University of St. Andrews (2010)

Research Interests
  • The stratospheres of the outer planets
  • Stratosphere-auroral interactions on Jupiter
  • Seasonal evolution of Saturn
  • Mid-infrared imaging/spectroscopy and retrieval analysis


Cassini-Huygens Icon Cassini-Huygens
The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft explored the ringed planet, its mysterious moons, the stunning rings and its complex magnetic environment.

Juno Icon Juno
Juno will fly to Jupiter and orbit its polar regions in order to understand the planet's gross size and structural properties, as well as measure Jupiter's atmospheric composition, temperature and deep wind profiles.

Voyager Icon Voyager
Voyager 1 and 2 explored the outer planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and are now investigating interstellar space as they leave the solar system.

SOFIA is the largest airborne observatory in the world; SOFIA's instruments — cameras, spectrometers, and photometers — operate in the near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths.

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech

May 2018 – Present                     Research Scientist II

January 2018 – May 2018            Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar

January 2015 – January 2018       NASA Postdoctoral Fellow

  • University of Oxford, United Kingdom

2014-2015                                 Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Community Service
  • Current member of NOAO Telescope Allocation Committee for Solar System observations
  • Panelist for NASA review panels
  • Reviewer for journals including Icarus, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, Nature and Nature (Astronomy).

Selected Publications
  1. Sinclair, J. A., Orton, G. S., Greathouse, T. K., Fletcher, L. N., Moses, J. I., Hue, V., Irwin, P. G. J., 2018, Jupiter's auroral-related stratospheric heating and chemistry II: Analysis of IRTF-TEXES spectra measured in December 2014, Icarus 300, 305-326
  2. Sinclair, J. A., Orton, G. S., Greathouse, T. K., Fletcher, L. N., Tao, C., Gladstone, G. R., Adriani, A., Dunn, W., Moses, J. I., Hue, V., Irwin, P. G. J., Melin, H., Giles, R. S., 2017b, Independent evolution of stratospheric temperatures in Jupiter's northern and southern auroral regions from 2014 to 2016, Geophysical Research Letters 44, 5345-5354.
  3. Sinclair, J. A., Orton, G. S., Greathouse, T. K., Fletcher, L. N., Moses, J. I., Hue, V., Irwin, P. G. J.,Jupiter's auroral-related stratospheric heating and chemistry I: Analysis of Voyager-IRIS and Cassini-CIRS spectra, Icarus 292, 305-326.
  4. Fletcher, L. N., Irwin, P. G. J., Sinclair, J. A., Orton, G. S., Giles, R. S., Hurley, J., Gorius, N., Achterberg, R. K., Hesman, B. E., Bjoraker, G. L., 2014, Seasonal Evolution of Saturn’s Polar Temperatures and Composition, Icarus 250, 131-152.
  5. Fletcher, L. N., Greathouse, T. K., Orton, G. S., Irwin, P. G. J., Mousis, O., Sinclair, J. A., Giles, R. S., 2014, The origin on nitrogen on Jupiter and Saturn from the 15N/14N ratio, Icarus 238, 170 – 190.
  6. Sinclair, J. A., Irwin, P. G. J., Fletcher, L. N., Greathouse, T., Guerlet, S., Hurley, J., Merlet, C., 2014, From Voyager-IRIS to Cassini-CIRS: Interannual variability in Saturn’s stratosphere?, Icarus 233, 281-292.
  7. Sinclair, J. A., Irwin, P. G. J., Fletcher, L. N., Moses, J. I., Greathouse, T. K., Friedson, A. J., Hesman, B., Hurley, J., Merlet, C., 2013, Seasonal variations of temperature, acetylene and ethane in Saturn’s atmosphere from 2005 to 2010, as observed by Cassini-CIRS, Icarus 225, 257-271.
  8. Vosper, S. B., Wells, H., Sinclair, J. A., Sheridan, P. F., 2012, A climatology of lee waves over the UK derived from model forecasts, Meteorological Applications 20(4), 466-481.
  9. Fletcher, L. N., Hesman, B. E., Achterberg, R. K., Irwin, P. G. J., Bjoraker, G., Gorius, N., Hurley, J., Sinclair, J., Orton, G. S., Legarreta, J., Garcia-Melendo, E., Sanchez-Lavega, A., Read, P. L., Simon-Miller, A. A., Flasar, F. M., 2013, The origin and evolution of Saturn’s 2011-2012 stratospheric vortex, Icarus 221, 560 – 586.
  10. Sinclair, J. A., Helling, Ch., Greaves, J. S., 2010, The impact of stellar model spectra in disc detection, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 409(1), L49-L53.

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