Dr. Christopher Hamilton joined LPL this spring as an Assistant Professor. Christopher is a planetary volcanologist with an interest in field-based analogs for geologic surface processes on terrestrial planets and satellites. He comes to LPL after three years at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Planetary Geodynamics Laboratory where he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow investigating active lava flow emplacement in Hawaii, flood lava volcanism on Mars, and tidal heating processes within Jupiter's moon Io. He earned his Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii researching lava–water interactions on Earth and Mars, with a focus on ice-contact volcanism in Iceland. He has also worked on volcanically triggered floods in New Zealand, volcanic successions in the Canadian Arctic, and impacts into volatile-bearing martian substrates. Christopher's research employs a combination of field observations, planetary mapping, geospatial analysis, and thermodynamic modeling. At LPL, he will continue to develop these research themes to study volcanism and aqueous floods on Earth and Mars, as well as explore new opportunities in terrestrial analog studies using unmanned aerial vehicles, machine learning systems, and industrial-scale simulation of lava and impact melt flows using metallurgical smelting techniques.
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