Welcome to our group!
Our research explores the rich diversity of physical processes that shape planetary surfaces and climates across the Solar System. With spacecraft observations, mathematical and computational models, and laboratory experiments, we seek to understand how these many surfaces came to be, and what that implies for their ever-changing planetary climates.
Why Study planetary Landscapes?
Landscapes provide a long-term record of a planet’s climate evolution – being able to decipher this record is therefore of obvious importance to understand how a given planet has evolved, and how that may change into the future. Across the solar system, spacecraft exploration has revealed an increasingly rich diversity of planetary landscapes and climates. On worlds like Titan, it is raining somewhere (right now!), with runoff from its rivers flowing into vast seas, where the wind can then kick up waves. Mars was once like this too, showing that some worlds evolve in familiar fashion to Earth. Other worlds are far more exotic, and would be completely alien to anything we’d ever experience! Places like Pluto have skyscrapers of methane ice penitentes. Triton has icy geysers that launch material kilometers into the sky. And comets, bodies with barely any gravity, evolve and transport sediment seasonally as their icy surfaces flyby the Sun, sometimes even disintegrating entirely for yet unknown reasons. Yet, despite the inherent differences between the many moons, planets, and small bodies of the solar system, many of their landscapes often still appear rather similar!
What Do We Do?
In our research group (starting July 2023), we are trying to piece together this complex puzzle so that we can understand what controls the evolution of all these various landscapes. To do so, we leverage the fact that they’re all evolving in different ways, with different materials, and under different climates. We use mathematical and numerical models, laboratory experiments, and spacecraft remote sensing observations to explore the similarities among these diverse landscapes. In this way, we treat each of these worlds as individual, global, natural experiments, using them to try and learn something new about the underlying physics of landscape evolution. With that knowledge in hand, we can then assess how climates are changing across the solar system, and what that may imply for our own planet and habitable environments more generally. Below you can find information about the group, and read more about some of our broader research interests
How do rivers or lakes behave on worlds like Titan or Mars, and what does that imply for their histories of climate change?
Icy Sublimation Worlds
How do volatile ices and granular materials interact on different worlds, and how does this shape their landscapes?
Read some of our work
From Mars, to Titan, and comets, we’ve published all sorts of things!
See what else we have to offer!
Who are we?
A bunch of neat people trying to understand neat things
We generate lots of data products and want others to enjoy them too!
Exploring and discovering whole new worlds