Christian Marois

Roles and responsibilities

  • Astronomer: the detection and characterization of exoplanets
  • Principal Investigator: NEW EARTH Laboratory, the development of high-contrast imaging technologies
  • HQP training
  • Professional outreach
  • Public outreach

Current research and/or projects

  • Principal Investigator: NEW EARTH Laboratory, a platform to study and develop frontier exoplanet imaging technologies
  • Principal Investigator: SPIDERS, a high-contrast imaging pathfinder for the Subaru telescope
  • Principal Investigator: NRC Small Team Gemini Planet Imager CAL2 upgrade, implementing a high-speed focal plane wavefront sensor for calibrating non-common path optical aberrations
  • Co-lead: Gemini Planet Imager 2 adaptive optics and spectrograph upgrades
  • Science Team Member: Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey
  • Science Collaborator: the Subaru SCExAO Exoplanet Imaging campaign
  • Co-lead: of the Planetary System Imager

Research and/or project statements

  • Enabling new capabilities: Innovative high-contrast imaging research and development at the NEW EARTH Laboratory
  • Deploying advanced instruments: lead of the SPIDERS pathfinder project for the Subaru telescope, lead the Gemini Planet Imager CAL2 upgrade, and support the Gemini Planet Imager adaptive optics upgrade
  • Finding new exoplanetary systems: Member of the GPI exoplanet imaging science campaign and collaborator of the SCExAO exoplanet survey
  • Toward finding life on exoplanets: Development of transforming high-contrast imaging technologies for future 30-m telescopes, toward identifying life signatures in the atmosphere of Earth-size exoplanets


  • Ph.D. Astronomy, Université de Montréal, 2004
  • M.Sc. Astronomy, Université de Montréal, 2000
  • B.A.Sc. Physics, Université de Montréal, 1997

Professional activities/interests

  • Adjunct Professor at University of Victoria, student supervision
  • Member of Breakthrough Watch
  • International advisory and review panels


  • Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria (adjunct)
  • Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA)


  • 2021 NRC Subaru SPIDERS Pathfinder, NRC ATD Strategic funding (Canada)
  • 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship (US)
  • 2020 NRC Small Team award, GPI CAL2 upgrade (Canada)
  • 2019 NSERC Discovery grant (Canada)
  • 2017 NRC ATD Strategy funding, NEW EARTH Laboratory (Canada)
  • 2016 NSERC TEPS CREATE team grant (Canada)
  • 2016 CSA FAST HiCIBaS (Canada)
  • 2014 Member of The Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars (Canada)
  • 2013 NSERC Discovery grant (Canada)
  • 2010 NSERC Polanyi Award  (Canada)
  • 2010 AAAS Newcomb-Cleveland award (Science)
  • 2009 Scientist of the year (CBC, Canada))
  • 2009 Contribution award for HR8799 system discovery (NRC Herzberg)
  • 2009 Québec National Assembly medal of honor (Quebec, Canada)
  • 2008 Runner-up biggest Science breakthrough of the year (Science)
  • 2008 November 30th personality of the week (LaPresse, Canada)
  • 2007 NSERC & FQRNT postdoc fellowships (Canada)
  • 2006 Directorate Award (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, US)
  • 2005 NSF Gemini Planet Imager (CoI, US)
  • 2005 Plaskett Medal, RASC & CASCA, best astronomical thesis in Canada (Canada)

Key publications

  • Marois, C., Macintosh, B., Barman, T., Zuckerman, B., Song, I., Patience, J., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., “Direct imaging of multiple planets orbiting the star HR 8799”, 2008, Science, 322, 1347.
  • Marois, C., Lafrenière, D., Doyon, R., Racine, R., Nadeau, D., and Macintosh, B., “Angular differential imaging: a powerful high-contrast imaging technique”, 2006, ApJ, 641, 556
  • Marois, C., Zuckerman, B., Konopacky, Q., Macintosh, B., Barman, T., “Images of a fourth planet orbiting HR 8799”, 2010, Nature, 468, 7327
  • Kalas, P., Graham, J., Chiang, E., Fitzgerald, M., Clampin M., Kite, E., Stapelfeldt, K., Marois, C., Krist, J., “Optical Images of an Exosolar Planet 25 Light-Years from Earth“, 2008, Science, 5906, 1345
  • Lafrenière, D., Marois, C., Doyon, R., Nadeau, D., Artigau, É., “A New Algorithm for Point-Spread Function Subtraction in High-Contrast Imaging: A Demonstration with Angular Differential Imaging”, 2007, ApJ, 660, 770.

Previous work experience

  • 2007-2008 Univ. of California Berkeley Astronomy Postdoctoral researcher

  • 2004-2007 Lawrence Liv. Nat. Lab. Astronomy Postdoctoral researcher

Christian Marois

Principal Research Officer
Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
5071 West Saanich Road
Victoria, British Columbia V9E 2E7
Preferred language: French
Other(s): English, French
Telephone: 250-363-0023


Space sciences, Astronomy, Observational astronomy