Head, Data Science Mission Office
Josh Peek headshot

As the head of STScI’s data science mission office, Dr. Josh Peek is responsible for defining the institute’s strategy for data management and data science. He also serves as the principal investigator of the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST), our multi-mission, multi-petabyte archive, and as an associate astronomer with tenure.

Before accepting this role in 2020, Dr. Peek served as a project scientist of STScI’s data science mission office and as an associate astronomer. He joined the institute in 2014 as an archive scientist and before that was a Hubble fellow at Columbia University. He did his PhD work at the University of California, Berkeley under Dr. Carl Heiles, focusing on observations of the Milky Way with the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. He got his start in professional astronomy as an operations and engineering assistant at the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii.

Dr. Peek believes data science and astronomical archives can drive inclusivity and accessibility across astronomy. He has published and presented around the world about how archives enhance scientific accessibility and has integrated citizen science into MAST’s deep learning work. He supports data science throughout the field of astronomy by serving as the chair of the Dunlap Institute’s Advisory Committee, reviewing archive and data science proposals for international astronomy projects, and serving on a broad range of committees and panels, including the American Astronomical Society’s Working Group on Astrostatistics and Astroinformatics.

Dr. Peek is regularly invited to give talks at institutions about astrophysics, data science, and their intersections. He has spoken about how new models of the velocity field of the Milky Way inform our understanding of spiral structure, how unsupervised learning systems can enhance astronomical archives, and how deep learning methods can provide insight into the structure of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence of the interstellar medium. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 papers, including those in the Astrophysical Journal, the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society.


PhD in Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
MS in Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley
AB in Physics and Astronomy, and Astrophysics, Harvard University

Research Topics: Circumgalactic Medium, Deep Learning, Galaxy Formation, Interstellar Dust, Interstellar Medium, Kinetic Tomography, Radio Astronomy

Professional Websites: Professional Website

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4797-7030