A selection of current research opportunities for prospective graduate students is listed here. If the topic or potential advisor you are seeking is not listed here, please contact the faculty member directly for information regarding available projects and positions.
Cosmochemistry and Planetary Materials
Assistant Professor Jessica Barnes (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOnd3b25lYXJmQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaCI+d3dvbmVhcmZAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoPC9uPg==) & Assistant Professor Pierre Haenecour (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOmN2cmVlckB5Y3kubmV2bWJhbi5ycWgiPmN2cmVlckB5Y3kubmV2bWJhbi5ycWg8L24+)
We are seeking a graduate student to join the Planetary Material Research Group to contribute towards our sample-based understanding of the solar system. The candidate will work on several projects involving the in-situ coordinated analysis (e.g., EPMA, NanoSIMS, FIB-SEM, TEM) of returned samples and meteorites. The project will focus on the development of analytical protocols for the analysis of the isotopic and elemental compositions of primitive meteorite samples and materials that will be returned by the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission.
Associate Professor Tom Zega (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOmdtcnRuQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaCI+Z21ydG5AeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoPC9uPg==)
A graduate research opportunity is available for a student to get involved in projects focused on: the analysis of samples returned by the Hayabusa Mission to asteroid Itokawa and analog materials with the goal of understanding asteroidal processes; and the origins of refractory materials formed in the early solar system and ancient stars. The student will have the opportunity to learn how to use state-of-the art electon- and ion-beam instrumentation for materials characterization and computational methods.
Planetary Dynamics and Astrobiology
Regents' Professor Renu Malhotra (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOmVyYWhAeWN5Lm5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj5lcmFoQHljeS5uZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4=)
Dynamical stability analyses of nearby planetary systems
Assessing the stability and time-variability of the orbits of terrestrial-mass exo-planets is critical to assessing whether such planets are actually likely to be habitable and how dynamic their habitability could be. For this project, we seek a graduate student to study the dynamical stability and the time-variability of planetary orbits in nearby multi-planet systems, with a focus on identifying candidate habitable planets. This project is funded by a new award from NASA's Interdisciplinary Consortia for Astrobiology Research, NASA-ICAR. Inquiries are also welcome from prospective graduate students with other funding who might be interested in planetary orbital dynamics research in my group; please see my webpage at Professor Malhotra’s web site.