Michael Phillips

PTYS/LPL Research Scientists

Kuiper 450


Michael Phillips


Ph.D., 2021, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Years with LPL: 2023 to present

Astrobiology, Planetary Analogs, Planetary Surfaces, Planetary Geology

As a planetary geologist, I use remote sensing data and mathematical models to understand planetary bodies, their composition, geology and geochemistry, formation histories, and potential to host life. My research is focused on planetary surface geology and processes and applications of AI/ML to planetary and astrobiological exploration. The data I use in my research are hyper- and multispectral reflectance and thermal emission spectra, topographic data, and various other satellite- and small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS)-based products. To augment my remote sensing approach, I conduct field work, employ numerical, analytical, and machine learning models, and perform laboratory and field spectroscopy. 

In addition to my role as a research scientist, I manage the Space Imagery Center at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. The Space Imagery Center is a research collection of NASA planetary photography, cartographic products, and technical documentation. Established in 1977, the Center spent much of its life as one of 17 NASA Regional Planetary Image Facilities located around the world. The Space Imagery Center continues to be a cornerstone for outreach and public science education at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, and is home to 5 high-performance computers specialized for production of high-quality Digital Elevation Models. 

Current Grants

2019 - 2024: Mars Data Analysis Program, "Constraining the composition of uplifted massifs surrounding Argyre, Hellas, and Isidis basins, Mars"

2024 - 2027: Mars Data Analysis Program, "From olivine to feldspar: Tracing Martian crustal evolution with CRISM mapping data"

Student Collaborations/Advising

Linae Larson, undergraduate Physics and Astrobiology

Former Postdocs

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2021 - 2023 

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