- Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering
Robin Wordsworth’s research is focused on the processes that shape planetary climate and habitability, both in the Solar System and around other stars. Currently active research topics include the nature of Mars’ atmosphere and hydrological cycle during the late Noachian (ca. 3-4 billion years ago), the rate of water loss from Earth and Venus soon after their formation, and the extent to which molecules like O2 can be treated as markers for carbon-based life in the atmospheres of rocky planets around other stars.
Atmospheric evolution is strongly dependent on a range of exterior and interior processes, so much of this research is highly interdisciplinary, combining radiative transfer, chemistry, and fluid dynamical modelling. Typically, we take a hierarchical approach, where insights from complex numerical simulations are combined with simplified modeling and analysis. As well as addressing long-standing problems in solar system evolution, we are developing general theories of rocky planet climate evolution that will be tested via atmospheric observations of local exoplanets in the near future.