Kevin McGouldrick

Research Scientist


  • Phone: 303-492-2951
  • Fax: 303-735-3737
  • Office: SPSC-N238


The primary focus of my research is the nature and evolution of the clouds of Venus. The sulfuric acid clouds of Venus reside between about 50 and 70km above the surface of the planet, where temperatures and pressures resemble those at the surface of the Earth. These clouds are part of a highly coupled system involving numerous chemical reactions, absorption of both incident solar and emitted infrared radiation, and the global atmospheric circulation. My goal is to understand the role the clouds play in driving and/or responding to these various processes. Throughout my scientific career, I have been building expertise, first in modelling, then in spacecraft observational data analysis, then in ground-based observations; and now into development of mission and instrumentation concepts.


University of Colorado Boulder — Boulder, CO
Ph.D. Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences

University of Colorado Boulder — Boulder, CO
M.S. Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences

Pennsylvania State University — University Park, PA
B.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics

Pennsylvania State University — University Park, PA
B.S. Physics

Employment history

Denver Museum of Nature & Science — Planetary Atmospheres Postdoctoral Researcher
August 2007 to February 2010


Microphysics of clouds and aerosols on Venus and other planets.
Derivation of properties and behavior of clouds and aerosols via remote sensing from the near infrared through the ultraviolet.


Akatsuki NASA Participating Scientist in Residence: "Combined Theoretical and Observational Multi-Disciplinary Analysis of the Structure and Evolution of the Clouds and Hazes of Venus."
PI: Kevin McGouldrick

NASA Solar System Workings: "A Comprehensive Model of the Venus Cloud System"
PI: Kevin McGouldrick

NASA Planetary Mission Data Analysis: "Meteorology of the middle and lower cloud decks of Venus Using VIRTIS/Venus Express."
PI: Kevin McGouldrick

Upcoming field work

I am a participating Scientist in Residence with the Akatsuki Mission.
As such I spend several months per year at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science at the Sagamihara Campus of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Beginning in January 2019, I will spend more of my time at CU rather than in Japan.


K. McGouldrick, 2018. [Commentary] Atmospheric science looks to Venus. Nature Geosciences, 11,4-5, doi:10.1038/s41561-017-0037-9

K. McGouldrick, 2017. Effects of variation in coagulation and photochemistry parameters on the particle size distributions in the Venus clouds. Earth, Planets, Space, 69:161, doi:10.1186/s40623-017-0744-x

C. C. C. Tsang and K. McGouldrick, 2017. General circulation of Venus from a long-term synoptic study of tropospheric CO by Venus Express / VIRTIS. Icarus, 289:173–180.

J. Peralta, Y. J. Lee, K. McGouldrick, H. Sagawa, A. S´anchez-Lavega, T. Imamura, T. Widemann, and M. Nakamura, 2017. Overview of useful spectral regions for Venus: An update to encourage observations complementary to the Akatsuki mission. Icarus, 288:235–239.

K. McGouldrick and C. C. C. Tsang, 2017. Discovery of a 150 day period in the Venus condensational clouds. Icarus, 286:118–133.

T. Horinouchi, S. Murakami, T. Satoh, J. Peralta, K. Ogohara, T. Kouyama, T. Imamura, [...]

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American Astronomical Society (AAS)
Division of Planetary Sciences of the AAS
American Geophysical Union
Japan Geoscience Union