My research interests span the geological and planetary sciences, and in particular I am interested in the advancement of geological quantitative measurement and analytical techniques, and studying planetary environmental change and surface alteration. These topics converge in the remote sensing of planetary surfaces.
My research revolves around using remote sensing data for studying surface processes that transform the martian surface to help interpret the conditions of Mars' paleoclimate and paleoenvironment. I am specifically interested in studying the morphology and composition, through high resolution imaging and imaging spectroscopy, of various martian sedimentary landforms in order to determine the mechanisms involved in the formation and erosion of such bedforms. My initial work focuses on understanding and determining the processes responsible for the formation of large sedimentary deposits located in the center of martian impact craters similar to Mt. Sharp, the central mound that the Curiosity rover is currently investigating, in Gale crater.
My undergraduate research focused on the characterization of exoplanets, including their atmospheric characteristics. Now, my graduate research revolves primarily around the Martian subsurface. I am specifically interested in subsurface molecular hydrogen production, which has important implications for potential biological activity at different times in Mars' history. To understand the extent and magnitude of subsurface hydrogen production, I employ numerous facilities, including remote sensing observations from multiple Martian satellites, Martian meteorite mineralogical and elemental abundances, Mars rover data, and Earth analogue sites that are similar to Mars in specific capacities. Combined, these resources give us as close to a comprehensive understanding of Mars as is possible today.
I am interested in the mineralogy of the terrestrial planets and how small scale processes can help interpret large scale phenomena. In the past I have worked on grain size implications for paleostress conditions and have used phase associations in E-chondrites as a proxy for Mercury's surface mineralogy. Currently, my work aims toward interpreting Mars' past climate history through study of minerals formed by aqueous alteration.
Kevin Cannon, Ph.D. '17. Now a Posdoctoral Researcher at The University of Central Florida
Stephanie Spera, Ph.D. '15. Now a Postdoctoral Researcher at Dartmouth
Marc Mayes, Ph.D. '15. Now a Postdoctoral Researcher at The University of California Santa Barbara
Tim Goudge, Ph.D. '15. Now a Postdoctoral Researcher at The University of Texas at Austin
Rebecca Greenberger, Ph.D. '15. Now a Lab Manager at Caltech.
Xi Yang, Ph.D. '14. Now an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia.
Mark Salvatore, Ph.D. '13. Now an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University.
John Roma Skok, Ph.D. '13. Now a Researcher at the SETI Institute.
Janette Wilson, Sc.M. '12. Now an Applications Engineer at Headwall Photonics, Inc.
Mario Parente, Postdoc 2009-11. Now an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Bethany Ehlmann, Ph.D. '10. Now an Assistant Professor at California Institute of Technology.
Gillian Galford, Ph.D. '10. Now a Research Assistant Professor at University of Vermont.
Shannon Sturtevant, Postdoc 2006-09. Now at GeoEye.
Leah Roach, Ph.D. '09. Now a Scientist at Frontier Technology, Inc.
Teresa Garcia, Sc.M. '08
Aline Gendrin, Postdoc 2005-07. Now at Schlumberger.
Ralph Milliken, Ph.D. '06. Now an Associate Professor at Brown University.
Jeremy Fisher, Ph.D. '06. Now a Principal Associate at Synapse Energy Economics, Inc.
Lisa Kanner, Sc.M. '06. Now a Senior Scientist II at 2NDNATURE, LLC.
Bethany Bradley, Ph.D. '06. Now an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Christopher Cooper, Ph.D. '04. Now a Principal Systems Engineer at BAE Systems.
Andrew Elmore, Ph.D. '03. Now an Associate Professor at University of Maryland.
Lin Li, Ph.D. '02. Now an Associate Professor at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.
Hongwei Chen, Sc.M. '01
Stephanie Tompkins, Ph.D. '97. Now the Director of the Defense Sciences Office at DARPA.
John Hays, Sc.M. '95. Now an Instructor at Cochise College.