Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Thomas Barclay



Org Code: 667

Mail Code: 667
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Brief Bio

I'm a scientist based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. I am lead the TESS Science Support Center, and am TESS Associate Project Scientist. My primary scientific interests lie in the analysis of data from space and ground-based telescopes to infer properties of exoplanets and their host stars. This has led to a number of major discoveries including the detection of the smallest known planet, the detection of the first super-Earth-sized planet orbiting in the habitable zone of a Sun-like star, and the detection of the first Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star.

After my graduate studies, I worked within the Kepler Guest Observer Office at NASA Ames Research Center, California as a research scientist. In 2014 I was promoted to Director of the Kepler/K2 Guest Observer Office. I led a team responsible for developing proposal calls, organizing proposal reviews, providing critical support to the scientific community and developing analysis software for Kepler and K2. I was part of the small team that pioneered the K2 mission, utilizing the Kepler spacecraft after the loss of fine pointing control. I served on the science and mission leadership teams for K2. In 2017 I moved to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland to work on the TESS mission. I initially, served as Deputy Director and then Director of the TESS Guest Investigator Program, and as Associate Project Scientist. I am a member of the Exoplanet Exploration Program Executive Committee.

I have worked NASA flight projects since 2011, including pre- and post-launch operations. While based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, I work for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 


Research Scientist


April 2017 - Present

Research Scientist

BAER Inst. - NASA Ames Research Center

April 2011 - April 2017


Ph.D Astrophysics, University College London, UK (2011)


ASD Peer Award (2019)

NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal (2017)