I am a Postdoctoral Scholar working in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, with Professor Oded Aharonson. My academic and professional backgrounds are geology and geophysics, respectively. I am currently working in the Simulated Planetary ICes and Environments Laboratory (SPICE Lab) at the Weizmann Institute and also collaborate with the Diviner Lunar Radiometer (a thermal imaging instrument NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) team.
My research interests include understanding the fundamental processes that result in the formation of geomorphologically and structurally diverse surface landforms on planetary bodies. The approach I employ for understanding these processes involves using laboratory experiments to reconcile observations (data from space missions) with theory. My graduate research at the University of California Los Angeles specifically focused on the formation of strike-slip faults in non-ideal tectonic environments (e.g., fractured terrains, non-uniform stress fields). This was done using a table-top tectonic apparatus (shown below) where I simulated the development and evolution of faults in different environmental conditions.
Some of my specific research interests are: (1) regolith evolution and surface and interior processes on small airless bodies, (2) interaction of geology, atmosphere, and thermal environments with respect to mobile water ice on planetary surfaces, (3) tectonic processes on tidally deformed objects , (4) geologic evolution of Venus with emphasis on the role of volatiles , and (4) refining experimental techniques with emphasis on scaling to and remote sensing of solar system bodies. In the broader context, I am interested in using planetary tectonics to create a framework for our understanding of the range of dynamic processes that operate (or have operated in the past) on bodies throughout the solar system.
In addition to my research activities, I previously managed the UCLA Institute for Planets and Exoplanets (iPLEX), a multi-disciplinary and -departmental planetary science organization. iPLEX organizes periodic international planetary science meetings and has a successful education and public outreach program that has served hundreds of schools in the Los Angeles area since its founding in 2011. I also created and taught a course at UCLA to help scientists explore and develop effective teaching and science communication strategies. To learn more about my professional and research activities, please see my Curriculum Vitae.
Outside of scientific activities, I like to keep active and explore as much as possible. I am constantly in search for things I haven’t seen, tasted, or experienced yet, and have the personal goal of learning how to say and using “thank you” in every language at least once (this requires quite a bit of travel, since most languages in the world aren’t spoken outside their home range).
Banner image credit: Anneka Tran.