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The Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL / Birkbeck

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Key Contacts:

Role:Name:Email:
DirectorDr Dominic Papineau

d.papineau@ucl.ac.uk

Centre Manager / Scientific OfficerDr Joanna Fabbrijoanna.fabbri@ucl.ac.uk
Planetary Science MSc Programme Lead & Admissions TutorDr Ingo Waldmanningo.waldman@ucl.ac.uk

CPS Board members:

Prof Nick AchilleosDr Dominic Papineau (Director)
Prof Ian CrawfordDr Ingo Waldmann
Prof Geraint Jones Dr Joanna Fabbri (Centre Manager / Scientific Officer)

Add @ucl.ac.uk to all email addresses, unless stated otherwise.

Academic Staff
Name and Position:Research Interests:Department:Email:
Prof Nick Achilleos, Professor of Planetary PhysicsModelling and observation of the ionospheres and magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn; Solar Wind - Atmosphere Interaction (non-magnetized planets);  Solar Wind - Magnetosphere Interaction (magnetized planets).Physics and Astronomy, UCL nicholas.achilleos
Prof Dario Alfe, Professor of PhysicsCondensed Matter Physics / Mineral PhysicsEarth Sciences, UCLd.alfe
Dr Anasuya Aruliah, Senior LecturerThermosphere-ionosphere-magnetosphere interactions;  
Fabry-Perot Interferometers and all-sky interferometers; 
Neutral wind dynamo;  Meso-scale structure and dynamics in the high-latitude upper atmosphere.
Physics and Astronomy, UCLa.aruliah
Prof Alan Aylward, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Physics(Terrestrial) thermospheric and ionospheric physics; 
Incoherent Scatter Radar; 
Planetary upper atmospheres and ionospheres; Modelling of terrestrial and planetary atmospheres.
Physics and Astronomy, UCLa.aylward
Prof Paul Bown, Professor of MicropalaeontologyVarious aspects of calcareous nannoplankton which have an abundant and long fossil record and are principally used in sediment dating/correlation and palaeoceanography, with more recent applications in palaeobiology, evolution and biomineralisation studies.Earth Sciences, UCLp.bown
Prof Donald Braben, Honorary Professor Earth Sciences, UCLd.braben
Prof Graziella Branduardi-Raymont, Professor of Space AstronomyPlanets; X-ray spectroscopy; Space missions; Instrumentation.Astrophysics, MSSL, UCLg.branduardi-raymont
Dr Charlie Bristow, Professor of SedimentologySedimentologyEarth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeckc.bristow
Prof John Brodholt, Professor of Mineral PhysicsGeophysics and Mineral PhysicsEarth Sciences, UCLj.brodholt
Prof Andrew Coates, Professor of Physics, Deputy Director (Solar System), MSSLPlanetary magnetospheres; Plasma interaction with comets, Mars, Venus, Titan, Enceladus; Planetary surface imaging; Measuring water density in Mars' atmosphere from the surface; Radiation effects on the surface of Mars; Earth's magnetosphere and bow shock; Space weather and effects on spacecraft.Planetary Science, MSSL, UCLa.coates
Prof Ian Crawford, Professor of Planetary Science and AstrobiologyLunar Science; Planetary Exploration; Astrobiology.Earth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbecki.crawford{at}bbk.ac.uk
Dr Francisco Diego, Senior Teaching Fellow, University of London ObservatoryPublic outreach; Optical instrumentation.Physics and Astronomy, UCLfd{at}star.ucl.ac.uk
Prof David Dobson, Associate Professor of Earth MaterialsHigh-pressure experiments on deep Earth materials; Synthesis and properties of new Fe-alloy phases relevant to the core; Transport properties of mantle mineral rocks and minerals; Deep seismicity.Earth Sciences, UCLd.dobson
Prof Hilary Downes, Professor of GeochemistryOrigin and evolution of the Earth’s continental lower crust and the lithospheric upper mantle.Earth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeckh.downes
Dr Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry, Lecturer in Planetary ScienceFracture mechanics in Solar System bodies, particularly Martian geology/geomorphology encompassing glacial/periglacial, volcanic and hydrological processes; geology/geomorphology of small bodies and moons.Earth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck m.elmaarry{at}bbk.ac.uk
Dr Jay Farihi, Associate Professor in AstrophysicsExoplanets; Disks, planets, and asteroids in evolved stellar systems.Physics and Astronomy, UCLj.farihi
Prof Andrew Fazakerley, Professor of Space Plasma Physics; Head of Department of Space and Climate PhysicsSpace Plasma Physics/Magnetospheric Physics; Investigating magnetospheric phenomena using co-ordinated multi-spacecraft datasets; Inter-experiment in-flight cross-calibration.Space Plasma Physics, MSSL, UCLa.fazakerley
Dr Kevin Fong, Honorary Senior Lecturer in PhysiologyExtreme environment physiology; Long-duration human space flight; Aerospace medicine.Centre for Anaethesia, UCLk.fong
Dr Steve Fossey, Teaching Fellow in Astronomy, UCL Observatory (UCLO)Extrasolar planets; Interstellar medium;  Molecular astrophysics; Diffuse Interstellar Bands.Physics and Astronomy, UCLs.fossey

Prof Louise Harra, Professor of Solar Physics

The trigger for solar flares and coronal mass ejections;
The formation of the solar wind; The Sun-Earth connection
Solar Physics, MSSL, UCLl.harra
Dr Eleanor Jennings, Lecturer in GeochemistryPlanetary accretion using modern volcanic materials to understand early atmosphere degassing and loss.Earth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck e.jennings{at}bbk.ac.uk
Dr Adrian P. Jones, Associate Professor in PetrologyIgneous PetrologyEarth Sciences, UCL adrian.jones
Prof Geraint Jones, Professor of Planetary Science, Head of Planetary Science Group, MSSLPlanetary magnetospheres and interactions with rings and moons; Cometary science; Comet- and dust-solar wind interaction; Interaction of unmagnetised planets with the solar wind; Heliospheric physics.Planetary Science, MSSL, UCLg.h.jones
Prof Nick Lane, Professor of Evolutionary BiochemistryEvolutionary biochemistry and bioenergetics.Genetics, Evolution & Environment, Div. of Biosciences, UCL nick.lane
Prof Steve Miller, Emeritus Professor of Planetary Science and Science CommunicationChemistry and dynamics of the atmospheres of the Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Titan; Chemistry and dynamics of extra-solar planets; Using H3+ to investigate planetary atmospheres and the early Universe.Physics and Astronomy, UCLs.miller
Prof Jan-Peter Muller, Professor of Image Understanding and remote SensingHead of Imaging Group, MSSLLife detection on other planets (in our solar system & beyond); Comparative morphology for understanding surface processes using 3D terrain;
Highly turbulent flow and how Giant Planets' banded structure and long-lived storms can persist; Sub-surface imaging systems from space.
Imaging, MSSL, UCLj.muller
Prof Christopher Owen, Professor of PhysicsSpace plasma physics and Magnetospheric physics.Space Plasma Physics, MSSL, UCLc.owen
Dr Dominic Papineau, Lecturer in Geochemistry and AstrobiologyBiosignatures on Mars and the early Earth Earth Sciences, UCLd.papineau
Prof Kevin Pickering, Professor of Sedimentology and StratigraphyEarth surface processes (particularly all aspects of deep-marine sedimentology, stratigraphy and tectonics); Surface processes on Venus; Global environmental issues; Stratigraphy, tectonics and sedimentation; Sediment geochemistry and clay mineralogy, particularly relating to deep-marine environments.Earth Sciences, UCLkt.pickering
Prof David Price, Professor of Mineral Physics and Vice Provost (Research)CMR; Earth History; 
Earth's core; Earth's mantle; 
Computational science; Flood basalts; Impacts; Mass extinction; Mineral physics; 
Molecular dynamics; Quantum mechanics.
Earth Sciences, UCLd.price 
Prof Gerald Roberts, Professor of Earthquake GeologyThe growth of active normal faults and how their slip-rates and growth control earthquake recurrence and seismic hazards.Earth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeckgerald.roberts
Prof Peter Sammonds, Professor of Geophysics, Director of Institute for Risk & Distaster ReductionRock & Ice Physics: Mechanics of the Earth's crust and ice sheets by studying the fundamental physics and mechanics of geological materials; Impacts of climate change and natural hazards.Earth Sciences, UCLp.sammonds
Prof Joanne Santini, Senior LecturerThe study of microorganisms that metabolise toxic metals/semi-metals such as arsenic.Structural & Molecular Biology, Div. of Biosciences, UCLj.santini
Prof Alan Smith, Professor of Detector PhysicsSpace technologies; Systems engineering with an enterprise context;  Technology planning.MSSL, UCLalan.smith
Dr Ellen Stofan, Honorary ProfessorGeology of Venus, Mars, Titan, and Earth.Earth Sciences, UCLellen{at}proxemy.com 
Prof Jonathan Tennyson, Professor of PhysicsTheory of small molecules. In particular, computing spectra of these molecules (e.g. water) and colliding electrons (and occasionally positrons) with them, to investigate the astrophysical, atmospheric, plasma-related and other consequences of these processes. Physics and Astronomy, UCLj.tennyson
Prof Giovanna Tinetti, Professor of AstrophysicsExoplanets characterisation;
Atmospheric and Planetary science; Radiative Transfer modelling.
Physics and Astronomy, UCLg.tinetti
Dr Vincent Van Eylen, Associate Professor of ExoplanetsCharacterization of exoplanets and their host stars, to learn about planet formation and evolution as well as the architecture of planetary systems.Planetary Science, MSSL, UCLv.vaneylen
Prof Serena Viti, Professor of AstrophysicsAstrochemistry
 
Physics and Astronomy, UCLsv{at}star.ucl.ac.uk 

Prof Lidunka Vocadlo, Professor of Mineral Physics

 

Ab initio simulation of the thermoelastic, melting and dynamic properties of planetary forming materials; Cryogenic-high T /high P experiments on planetary-forming materials; Ab initio simulation of the high P/T properties of metals.Earth Sciences, UCLl.vocadlo 
Dr Ingo Waldmann, Lecturer High resolution atmospheric spectra of exoplanets;  
Modelling of planetary atmospheres;  
Photometry of transiting extrasolar planets; 
Detecting extrasolar planets using radial velocity and microlensing techniques.
Physics and Astronomy, UCL  ingo.waldmann 
Prof John Ward, Professor of Synthetic Biology for BioprocessingThe use of bacteria, enzymes and phages to develop new chemicals, pathways and active entities.Structural & Molecular Biology, Div. of Biosciences, UCLj.ward
Prof Duncan Wingham, Honorary ProfessorThe flow and mass exchange of the Earth's ice sheets through the use of ultra-precise measurements from Earth orbiting satellites.Earth Sciences, UCLduncan.wingham
Prof Ian Wood, Professor of CrystallographyCrystallography; X-ray and neutron powder diffraction; High pressure and high/low temperature diffraction experiments; Clay minerals; 
Planetary ices.
Earth Sciences, UCLian.wood
Prof Sergey Yurchenko, Professor of PhysicsThe physics of molecules ranging from the theoretical high resolution spectroscopy to the modelling of molecular properties in different environments, including atmospheres of exoplanets, hot combustion gases as well as porous nano-structures.Physics and Astronomy, UCL  s.yurchenko
Research Staff
Name and Position:Research Interests:Department:Email:
Dr Jo Barstow (Eberhardt)Planetary atmosphere modelling; Extrasolar planetsPhysics and Astronomy, UCLj.eberhardt
Dr Roberto Bugiolacchi, Leverhulme Fellow MoonZooCPS/UCLroberto.bugiolacchi
Dr William Dunn, Postdoctoral ResearcherJupiter's X-Ray Emission and Aurora; Exoplanets; Science EducationPlanetary Science, MSSL, UCL and ESAw.dunn
Dr Colin Forsyth, Research AssociateSpace plasma physics; Magnetospheric physics; Auroral physicsSpace Plasma Physics, MSSL, UCLcolin.forsyth
Dr Andrew D. Griffiths, Senior Research AssociateProject Manager for the ExoMars PanCam instrument; Imaging the Martian surface and atmospheric phenomena; Determining landing site morphology from stereo images; Determining the altitude distribution of water vapour in the Martian atmosphere via solar spectral line absorption measurements.Imaging, MSSL, UCLandrew.griffiths
Dr Patrick Guio, Senior Research FellowSpace plasma physics - Nonlinear waves and turbulence; Incoherent scattering - Theory and observation (EISCAT); High-performance computing - Plasma and planetary modelling.Physics and Astronomy, UCLp.guio
Dr David Johnson, Postdoctoral ResearcherAtmospheric modelling; Data assimilation techniques; Space weather; MeteorolgyPhysics and Astronomy, UCLd.johnson
Dr Panagiotis Sidiropoulos, Honorary staffPattern recognition; Machine learning; Image and video processing; Computer visionImaging, MSSL, UCLp.sidiropoulos
Dr Yu Tao, Research AssociateImaging science; 3D reconstructio; Machine vision; Planetary scienceImaging, MSSL, UCLyu.tao
Dr Marcell Tessenyi, Postdoctoral ResearcherUnderstanding exoplanet atmospheres through infrared spectroscopy.Physics and Astronomy, UCL m.tessenyi 
Dr Angelos Tsiaras, Postdoctoral ResearcherExoplanets spectroscopyPhysics and Astronomy, UCL angelos.tsiaras.14
Dr Anne Wellbrock, Research AssociatePlasma interactions with unmagnetised bodies in the solar system, especially Titan.Planetary Science, MSSL, UCLa.wellbrock
Postgraduate Students
Name and Position:Research Interests:Department:Email:

Qasim AfghanSTFC

Comet observationsPlanetary Science, MSSLqasim.afghan.19
Claudio ArenaSTFCExoplanets - Atmospheric Detection and Characterisation; Scientific Payloads Attitude and Orbital Control Systems (AOCS); Infrared and THz Optics and InstrumentationPhysics and Astronomy, UCL claudio.arena.12
Geoffrey BaronMineral physics of planetary icesEarth Sciences, UCLg.baron.16
Eleni BohacekEPSRC CDT in IPESExoMars PanCamPlanetary Science, MSSL, and Electronic & Electrical Engineering, UCL eleni.bohacek.10
George BrydonPlanetary PenetratorsPlanetary Science, MSSL, UCL george.brydon.15
Jacqueline CampbellSTFCHyperspectral imaging; Compositional mapping of dynamic features on Mars;
Martian polar regions; Detection of organics
Imaging, MSSL, UCL  jacqueline.campbell.16
George CannUKSASimulation of biosignatures in the Martian atmosphere; Retrieval of martian atmospheric trace gasesImaging, MSSL, UCL  george.cann.15
Zach DickesonSTFCCharacterising the geology of the landing sites for the European Space Agencies upcoming ExoMars2020 rover missionEarth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck / Earth Sciences, NHMzdicke01@mail.bbk.ac.uk
Billy Edwards, ERC (ExoLoghts, PI: Tinetti)Spectroscopy of Transiting ExoplanetsPhysics and Astronomy, UCL  billy.edwards.16
Lang FengRadargrammetry; 
Ionosphere and Atmosphere; 3D and 4D TomoSAR imaging; DEM
Microwave RS and Remote sensing image processing; Digital planets (3DGIS, Database, Web Service); WebGIS
Imaging, MSSL, UCL  lang.feng.14
Alistair Francis Imaging, MSSL, UCLa.francis.16
Samuel HalimSTFCThe survivability of lunar impactorsEarth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck  shalim03{at}mail.bbk.ac.uk
Flavien Hardy, Impact/PerrenPlanetary magnetosphere modelling; Solar wind - magnetosphere interaction; Accretion disks and planetary evolutionPhysics and Astronomy, UCL flavien.hardy.17
Richard Haythornthwaite Planetary Science, MSSL, UCLrichard.haythornthwaite.18
Andrew Jamieson, NERC - DTPInvestigating the thermoeleastic properties of the [Fe,Ni]3Si system in conditions relevant to Mars and other smaller planetary bodies.Earth Sciences, UCLa.jamieson.17
Giulia MagnariniSTFCThe formation mechanism of long runout landslides on planetary bodiesEarth Sciences, UCLgiulia.magnarini.14
Rok NezicSTFCPolarimetry of cometsPlanetary Science, MSSL, UCL, based at Armagh Observatoryrok.nezic.14
Divya PersaudDevelopment of Mars image data fusion and automated feature recognition for surface geology ahead of the ExoMars 2020 rover launchImaging, MSSL, UCL d.persaud.17
Lewis Pinault, Self-FundedSETI in the Solar System: Geochemical/ other detection systems for micron-scale evidence of Non-Terrestrial Artefacts (NTAs); Algorithms & search systems for detection of larger NTA fragments in high-resolution satellite imageryEarth & Planetary Sciences, Birkbeckl.pinault
Oliver PriceSTFCCometsPlanetary Science, MSSL, UCL oliver.price.15
Kiky PutriIndonesia Endowment Fund for Education ScholarshipData Mining on Planetary Datasets (Mars)Imaging, MSSL, UCL alfiah.putri.15 
Gillian Sclater, Self-fundedPhysics of dissociating clathrates in cryovolcanic vents: application to Titan, Enceladus and Triton.Earth Sciences, UCLg.sclater
Arianna SorbaSTFCModelling planetary magnetospheres; Planetary aurorae; Magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling (at Jupiter and Saturn)Physics and Astronomy, UCLarianna.sorba.15
Roger StabbinsUKSAScience preparations for ExoMars PanCam: Multispectral imaging of Martian geology and atmosphericsPlanetary Science, MSSL, UCLroger.stabbins.10
Andrew SwanSTFCPolluted white dwarfs; Exoplanetary systemsPhysics and Astronomy, UCL  a.swan.17
Affelia WibisonoX-ray auroraPlanetary Science, MSSL, UCL affelia.wibisono.18
Fred Wilson, ERC (MoltenEarth, PI: Stixrude)Thermodynamics of a MgO-CaO system under magma ocean conditions following giant impactEarth Sciences, UCLalfred.wilson.11 
Thomas WilsonSTFCWater production and chemistry in cometsPhysics and Astronomy, UCLthomas.wilson.14
Marisa WoodSTFCBirch’s Law: does it work for iron and iron alloys in planetary coresEarth Sciences, UCL marisa.wood.09
CPS Associates

Previous CPS members and associates of the group:

Name:Research:
Dr Louise AlexanderLunar geochemistry 
Dr Chris Arridge Planetary magnetospheres; Robotic exploration of the solar system; Astrophysical magnetospheres.
Dr Bob Barber The optical properties of water; Water in comets.
Lee BardonImpact melting and vapourisation of planets, including the proto-Earth
Dr David BarnesHeliospheric Physics; HELCATS (Heliospheric Cataloguing, Analysis and Technique Service) FP7 project using data from the STEREO twin spacecraft which is observing plasma structures in the solar wind.
Dr Carolina BergforsEvolved stellar and planetary systems. Star and planet formation. Low mass stars and brown dwarfs.
Dr Kimberley BirkettComets
James BraithwaiteMaterial behavior governing the evolution of the magma ocean
Abigail Calzada-DiazSource regions of lunar meteorites
Dr Mario DamianoExoplanets
Dr Camila Danielski Exoplanets 
Dr Lewis DartnellAstrobiology
Dr Joel DavisGeomorphology and sedimentary geology of Mars; Ancient martian fluvial and deltaic systems; Inverted terrain on the Earth and Mars; DTM generation of terrestrials planets and moons; Ancient ocean basins and tectonic reconstructions.
Dr Lottie Davis Biomarkers in alkaline lakes and application to Mars
Ravindra DesaiSaturn's Magnetosphere, Spacecraft Instrumentation
Dr Matthew DoddBiosignatures in Earth’s oldest sedimentary rocks
Dr Amy EdgingtonProperties of core-forming and other deep-Earth materials and the implications these have on the behaviour and evolution of planetary interiors.
Dr Marianna FeliciCassini, Maven
Dr Pete GrindrodSurface-atmosphere exchange and the history of water on Mars
Dr Terence HackwillLunar geology
Dr Cui HangComputational Mineral Physics
Dr Jennifer HarrisMartian meteorites, Mars analogues, VNIR mineral spectroscopy, PanCam.
Prof. Karen Hudson-EdwardsProcesses and products of the biogeochemical cycling of contaminants and nutrients in mine wastes, waters, dusts and contaminated land.
Huma IrfanPlanetary GIS, particularly Lunar GIS studies related to lunar digital elevation models and future lunar missions. 
Dr Caitriona JackmanSolar wind - magnetosphere coupling; Magnetotail dynamics (Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Earth)
Dr Jamie JasinskiSaturn's magnetosphere
Prof Carolina Lithgow-BertelloniGeophysics and Geodynamics: the connection between the dynamics of planetary interiors and their surface expression, including the influence of dynamics on surface deformation and topography.
Jane MacArthurPlanetary Science MSc graduate
Dr Adam MartinsHydrogen and Helium at conditions of Gas Giant interiors (Now programmer at UK Met Office)
Dr Tom NordheimMoon-magnetosphere interactions at Saturn and Jupiter; Space weathering effects on un-magnetised bodies; Modelling of cosmic ray interactions in neutral atmospheres; Planetary robotics.
Dr Lucy NormanAstrobiology, Titan and the Self-Assembly of Amphiphiles
Dr Nathan PilkingtonMagnetospheric physics 
Dr Louisa PrestonAstrobiology
Dr Wil PooleMars:South Polar Cap landforms; Surface roughness. Earth: Glaciers; Polar Caps; Surface roughness.
Dr Yudish RamanjoolooComets and their interaction with the Solar Wind
Dr Licia RayComparative planetary magnetospheres; Auroral processes; Magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling; Magnetospheric dynamics; Planetary ionospheres.
Dr Leonardo RegoliCassini, Maven
Dr Marco RocchettoModelling of exoplanetary atmospheres; Photometry of transiting exoplanets; Evolved planetary systems
Dr Amy RonksleyCoupling of upper and lower atmosphere; 
SCANDI, FPIs and EISCAT radars;
Meteorology and space weather.
Dr Elliot Sefton-Nash Mapping and understanding the composition, distribution and geologic influence of volatiles in the solar system. 
Dr Si-Ting Xiong3D subsurface mapping; Martian Polar regions; Subsurface mapping in deserts
Dr Joshua SnapeLunar meteorites and lunar regolith
Dr Aaron StinsonPolarimetry of small Solar System bodies
Prof Lars StixrudeLarge-scale planetary processes through investigations of the fundamental atomic-scale physics of Earth- and planet-forming materials; Mineral physics; Earth and planetary liquids and fluids; Condensed matter physics; High pressure physics; Planetary structure and evolution.
Dr Sam TaylorSaturn's magnetosphere
Indhu VaratharajanPlanetary Science MSc graduate
Dr Bing XiaoComputational Mineral Physics
Dr Japheth YatesExoplanets; Super Earths; 
Atmosphere-magnetosphere coupling; Planetary Atmospheres. 
Dr Tiziano ZingalesExoplanets: Photometry of transiting planets