Douglas (Doug) Johnstone

Roles and responsibilities

NRC: President's Science Advisor and PREAC Secretary

Astronomer, Far-Infrared/Sub-Millimetre Astronomy: Focusing on star and planet formation research.

Principal Investigator: JWST Planets in Formation Guaranteed Time Program

Co-Principal Investigator: JCMT Transient Survey Large Program

Science Team Member: Future Ground-based Telescopes (CCAT-p, SKA, CMB-S4, AtLAST)

Science Team Member: Future Space-based Missions (PRIMA, Origins Space Telescope)

Project Scientist: HAA Array Receivers for Radio Telescopes Program

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

Current research and/or projects

JCMT Transient Survey (co-PI): An on-going seven-year monitoring of 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 and has led to more than twenty publications thus far. 

Planets in Formation (Lead): A Guaranteed Time JWST NIRISS AMI study of three nearby very young stars surrounded by structured circumstellar disks and potentially harbouring very young forming planets. Observations are scheduled for early 2023 and will be central to the PhD investigation undertaken by University of Victoria supervised graduate student Dori Blakely.

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

Francis, L., Johnstone, D., Lee, J.-E., Herczeg, G. J., Long, F., Mairs, S., Contreras Peña, C., Moriarty-Schieven, G., and JCMT Transient Team, Accretion Burst Echoes as Probes of Protostellar Environments and Episodic Mass Assembly (2022), The Astrophysical Journal.

Johnstone, D., Lalchand, B., Mairs, S., Shang, H., Chen, W. P., Bower, G. C., Herczeg, G. J., Lee, J.-E., Forbrich, J., Chen, B.-Y., Contreras Peña, C., Lee, Y.-H., Park, W., Broughton, C., Plovie, S., and JCMT Transient Team, The JCMT Transient Survey: Single-epoch Transients and Variability of Faint Sources (2022), The Astrophysical Journal.

Blakely, D., Francis, L., Johnstone, D., Soulain, A., Tuthill, P., Cheetham, A., Sanchez-Bermudez, J., Sivaramakrishnan, A., Dong, R., van der Marel, N., Cooper, R., Vigan, A., and Cantalloube, F., Two Rings and a Marginally Resolved, 5 au Disk around LkCa 15 Identified via Near-infrared Sparse Aperture Masking Interferometry (2022), The Astrophysical Journal.

Lee, Y.-H., Johnstone, D., Lee, J.-E., Herczeg, G., Mairs, S., Contreras-Peña, C., et al, The JCMT Transient Survey: Four-year Summary of Monitoring the Submillimeter Variability of Protostars (2021), The Astrophysical Journal.

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.

Johnstone, D; Hendricks, B; Herczeg, G; Bruderer, S, Continuum Variability of Deeply Embedded Protostars as a Probe of Envelope Structure (2013), The Astrophysical Journal.

Pon, A; Johnstone, D; Heitsch, F, Modes of Star Formation in Finite Molecular Clouds (2011), The Astrophysical Journal.

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, Astronomy, Observational astronomy