Douglas (Doug) Johnstone


Roles and responsibilities

Astronomer, Radio Astronomy: Focusing on star and planet formation research.

Principal Investigator: NRC New Beginnings; 350 Micron Commissioning Camera for the CCAT-p Telescope.

Co-Chair Science Working Group: Cradle of Life Science for the SKA Radio Telescope.

Science Team Member: NIRISS and NIRCam Instruments for James Webb Space Telescope.

Science Team Member: Future Space-Based Missions (CASTOR, SPICA, OST).

Current research and/or projects

JCMT Transient Survey (co-PI): A four-year monitoring of eight nearby star-forming regions with one-month cadence using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) to detect brightness changes from young protostars. This is the first dedicated survey of protostellar variability in the sub-mm.

Planets in Formation (Lead): A Guaranteed Time JWST NIRISS AMI study of nearby very young stars surrounded by transition disks and possibly harbouring planets.

FAUST (Team Member): Fifty AU Study of the chemistry in the disk/envelope system of Solar-like protostars (ALMA Large Project).

Taurus Disks (Team Member): An Unbiased Survey of disk structures around young stars in Taurus (ALMA Project).


Ph.D. Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, 1995

B.Sc. Astronomy and Physics, University of Toronto, 1989


Adjunct Professor: University of Victoria.

Key publications

Lee, J-E; Lee, S; Baek, G; Aikawa, Y; Cieza, L; Yoon, S-Y;  Herczeg, G; Johnstone, D; Casassus, S, “The ice composition in the disk around V883 Ori revealed by its stellar outburst”, 2019 Nature Astronomy.


Mairs, S; Lalchand, B; Bower, G; Forbrich, J; Bell, G; Herczeg, G; Johnstone, D; Chen, W-P; Lee, J-E; Hacar, A, “The JCMT Transient Survey: An Extraordinary Submillimeter Flare in the T Tauri Binary System JW 566”, 2019 ApJ 871, 72.


Johnstone, D., et al., “The JCMT Transient Survey: Stochastic and Secular Variability of Protostars and Disks In the Submillimeter Region Observed over 18 Months”, 2018 ApJ 854, 31.


Johnstone, D; Hendricks, B; Herczeg, G; Bruderer, S, “Continuum Variability of Deeply Embedded Protostars as a Probe of Envelope Structure”, 2013 ApJ 765, 133.


Pon, A; Johnstone, D; Heitsch, F, “Modes of Star Formation in Finite Molecular Clouds”, 2011 ApJ, 740, 88.

Previous work experience

2012 – 2014   Associate Director, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope,

2012 May       Visiting Scientist, European Southern Observatory

2007 Sept       Visiting Professor, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris  

1999 – 2001   Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

1996 – 1999   Research Associate, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics

Douglas (Doug) Johnstone

Douglas (Doug) Johnstone

Principal Research Officer
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
5071 West Saanich Road
Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2E7
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 250-363-8108


Space sciences, Observational astronomy, Astronomy