Eastham, Sebastian

Sebastian Eastham
Principal Research Scientist, Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
Principal Research Scientist, Center for Global Change Science





Focus Areas

Earth Systems, Policy Scenarios, Climate Policy, Air Quality & Health, Multi-Sector Dynamics


Seb is a principal research scientist at the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the Center for Global Change Science. His research career began at Cambridge, where he worked on the environmental impact of expanding Heathrow Airport as part of his undergraduate degree. Seb completed a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering at MIT in 2015, followed by a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard in the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group, supported jointly by the Harvard University Center for the Environment and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate and Global Change program. He joined the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment as a research scientist in 2017, before moving to the Center for Global Change Science in 2022.

Research Interests

Seb’s work is focused on understanding and reducing the atmospheric impacts of anthropogenic emissions using high-resolution computational models of the atmosphere in concert with Earth observations. This ranges from high-fidelity local simulations of single exhaust plumes up to global-scale numerical models of the atmosphere. His research also benefits from the application of machine learning methods to Earth observation data, such as ongoing work to identify and characterize aircraft condensation trails – and from there quantify their climate impacts – in geostationary satellite imagery. The long-term goal of his work is to enable near real-time integration of observational (monitor, aircraft, and satellite) data into computational models of the environment, supporting unprecedented accuracy and insights with regards to environmental decision making for impact mitigation and environmental justice.

Education + Credentials
PhD in Aeronautical Engineering, MIT
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group, Harvard University

Recent Publications

Journal Article
Moch, J.M., L.J. Mickley, S. Eastham, et al. (2023). AGU Advances, 4(5) (doi: 10.1029/2023AV000911) [PDF]
Journal Article
Picciano, P., Q. Minghao, S.D. Eastham, M. Yuan, J. Reilly and N.E. Selin (2023). Nature Communications, 14, 5543 (doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-41131-x)
Journal Article
Schlosser, C. Adam, C. Frankenfeld, S. Eastham, X. Gao, A. Gurgel, A. McCluskey, J. Morris, S. Orzach, K. Rouge, S. Paltsev and J. Reilly (2023). Frontiers in Climate, Accepted (Vol. 5, doi: 10.3389/fclim.2023.1100600)
Journal Article
Freese, L.M., G.P. Chossiere, S. Eastham, A. Jenn and N.E. Selin (2023). Nature Energy, (doi: 10.1038/s41560-023-01241-8)
Journal Article
Eastham, S.D., E. Monier, D. Rothenberg, S. Paltsev and N.E. Selin (2023). ACS Environmental Au, 3(3),153–163 (doi: 10.1021/acsenvironau.2c00054)

News + Media

In The News
Washington Post | 
Sep 22, 2023
News Release
Joint Program News | 
Sep 19, 2023
News Release
MIT News | 
Apr 10, 2023
News Release
Joint Program News | 
Apr 04, 2023
Joint Program News | 
Apr 03, 2023
Joint Program News | 
Mar 30, 2023
News Release
Joint Program News | 
Oct 07, 2022