Jason Tumlinson

Head, Community Missions Office
Jason Tumlinson headshot

As the head of the community missions office, Dr. Jason Tumlinson guides the institute’s role in future missions and data archives. In this role, he spearheads STScI’s involvement in new missions, most recently NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and other Explorer-class missions. His team also plays a significant role in pioneering advanced space telescope concepts and technology development for future missions that are planned by the astronomical community.

Dr. Tumlinson joined the institute as an assistant astronomer in 2008, received tenure in 2014, and reached the rank of full astronomer in 2018. Since 2010, he has concurrently held the position of research scientist in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

Throughout this period, he has led a number of research programs directed at understanding the way galaxies acquire and process the cosmic gas from which they form stars and planets. From 2008 to 2015, he was principal investigator of the COS-Halos program that used 263 orbits of time on Hubble to explore the Circumgalactic Medium (CGM) of nearby galaxies, which the team found plays a key role in governing the formation of galaxies. In recent years, his research has turned to understanding the co-evolution of galaxies and their CGM as simulated in Figuring Out Gas & Galaxies In Enzo (FOGGIE), research led by STScI colleague Dr. Molly Peeples, that uses supercomputer simulations to track galactic gas at unprecedented resolution. Since 2017, Dr. Tumlinson has served as the principal investigator of the Milky Way Science Investigation Team for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), now known as the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, and a member of the observatory’s Formulation Science Working Group.

Dr. Tumlinson’s community service includes serving on the Large Ultraviolet Optical Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR) Science and Technology Definition Team from 2015 to 2019 and on the executive committee of NASA’s Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group (COPAG). He held the Mead Fellowship in Astrophysics at Yale University from 2005 to 2008, and was the Edwin P. Hubble scientist in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago from 2002 to 2005. Dr. Tumlinson has published or co-published over 115 peer-reviewed research articles, and has mentored more than a dozen postdocs at STScI and JHU since 2010.


PhD in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
MS in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
BA in Physics, Rice University


Research Topics: Galaxy Formation; Interstellar and Intergalactic Matter; Chemical Evolution and Nucleosynthesis


Professional Websites: Professional Website


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7982-412X