Recently Retired Faculty

Recently Retired Faculty

Research Professor Dr. Gilda Ballester joined LPL in 2000. Her interests include exoplanets, planetary formation and evolution, planetary astronomy, and planetary atmospheres.

Gilda conducted early research on Io's atmosphere and plasma torus, as well as on the upper atmospheres, auroras, and magnetospheric interactions of Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus using both imaging and spectroscopy.

Gilda's work with the Hubble Space Telescope Panchromatic Comparative Exoplanet Treasury program focused on characterizing ultra-hot to hot Jupiters, warm exoplanets from Jupiter to super-Earth masses and their host stars based on observations and modeling. During the course of her career, Gilda built a large network of international collaborators.

Professor William Boynton is a Mission Instrument Scientist with OSIRIS-REx. As a cosmochemist, his research focused on understanding the role of volatile materials, chiefly water, carbon dioxide and argon, as probes for planetary processes. Since beginning his faculty career at LPL in 1977, Professor Boynton has been a member of eight other NASA flight missions, including as Principal Investigator for instruments on the Comet Rendezvous/Asteroid Flyby (Comet Penetrator-Lander) and Mars Odyssey 2001 (Gamma-Ray Spectrometer, GRS). He served as Team Leader for the Mars Observer GRS and for Geochemistry on Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Shoemaker Mission to Asteroid 433 Eros. As Co-Investigator with MESSENGER, Bill was responsible for data from the X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers. As Co-I of Mars Phoenix Lander, he managed the design, fabrication, testing, and operation of the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA). Bill was also Co-I for the Cassini-Huygens Surface-Science Package.

Professor Boynton is a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society and the recipient of four NASA Group Achievement Awards. In 2005, he was awarded the NASA Public Service Medal for outstanding leadership of the 2001 Mars Odyssey GRS team; in 2010, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal for leading the TEGA investigation with the LPL-led Phoenix mission to Mars.

Dr. Timothy Swindle joined LPL in 1986 and became Department Head and Laboratory Director in 2012. His research interests include cosmochemistry, lunar studies, and small bodies. He uses measurements of the noble gases in extraterrestrial materials (lunar samples and meteorites) to study the evolution of the solar system. He serves as Director of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium. Tim was awarded the Antarctic Service Medal (2000) and is a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society (2008).

Highlights of Tim's tenure as Head and Director include his efforts in the formation of UArizona science clusters for Space Situational Awareness and Earth Dynamics Observatory and in the creation of the Arizona Space Institute; his active support and advocacy for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and awareness; development of the Kuiper Materials Imaging and Characterization Facility; and development and expansion of The Art of Planetary Science.