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 focus on understanding fundamental processes that lead to the formation of the geomorphically and structurally diverse landforms observed at the surfaces of planetary bodies. The approach I employ for understanding the processes outlined above 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).
Some of my specific research interests are: (1) investigating the interaction of geology, atmospheres, and thermal environment with respect to mobile water ice on planetary surfaces (2) tectonic processes on tidally deformed objects and small bodies, (3) 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. In addition, I 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 UCLA, I like to keep active. I have run the 200-mile Ragnar Relay from Huntington Beach to San Diego twice, and hike, camp, rock climb, go to the beach, fly fish, and visit National Parks as often as I can. I’ve driven across the U.S. from coast to coast on ten separate occasions (four times with my two dogs in tow – they love it…new smells everywhere we go), and visited close to every National Park in the lower 48 states, Hawaii, and several in Canada. My favorite is Glacier National Park (if you find yourself there, make sure you find Two Sisters Cafe and have the warm huckleberry pie with vanilla ice cream). I am constantly seeking out new things to try and places to experience. Never stop exploring.
Banner image credit goes to Anneka Tran.