CV

Download CV here.
Education
  • PhD in Earth & Planetary Sciences (Dr. rer. nat., summa cum laude), The University of Münster in cooperation with ESA & the DLR Institute of Planetary Research (2012).
  • Diploma in Physics (Dipl. Phys. ETH), ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (2006).

Research Interests
  • Planet Interior Evolution & Geodynamics
  • Deep Life & Geobiology
  • Habitability of Solar System Worlds and Exoplanets
  • Mars Exploration & Subsurface Exploration

Professional Experience
  • Research Scientist, 01/2018 – now, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
    • MarsX (Mars Subsurface Exploration Initiative): PI for TH2OR (Liquid water sounder)
    • Lead scientist for Mars Small Spacecraft Advanced Concepts Study
    • Lead scientist for Mars Deep Drill Advanced Concepts Study
  • Research Staff Scientist, 09/2017-01/2018, California Institute of Technology
  • Simons Foundation’s Collaboration on the Origins of Life Fellow, 08/2015-09/2017, Postdoctoral Scholar in Geobiology, California Institute of Technology
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-07/2015, MIT – Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences
  • European Space Agency (ESA) Graduate Student Fellow, 2008-2012
  • Institute of Planetary Research @ the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC)
  • Visiting Scientist, 2007-2008, Institute of Planetary Research @ German Aerospace Center
  • PI for space experiment Chondro II on Cervantes Mission to ISS, 2003-2006, tissue engineering/fluid mixing on the International Space Station to improve cartilage transplants and explore fluid dynamics and cellular matrix formation in microgravity.
  • PI for space experiment Chondro I on the Russian space satellite Foton M1, 2001-2002, tissue engineering/fluid mixing to improve cartilage transplants and explore fluid dynamics and cellular matrix formation in microgravity.
  • PI for microgravity experiment Lidia on student parabolic flight campaign, 2000-2001, fluid dynamics in test units for T-lymphocyte apoptosis studies in microgravity.

Funded Grants and Proposals
  • Mars Subsurface Exploration Initiative TH2OR Task (PI TH2OR $ 1.275 Million), 2018-2021
  • HST-GO-15304.024, Collecting the Puzzle Pieces: Completing HST’s UV+NIR Survey of the TRAPPIST-1 System ahead of JWST (Co-I, $31 k), 2018-2019
  • Simons Foundation’s Collaboration on the Origin of Life Fellowship (PI, $342 k), 2015-2017
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Researcher Fellowship (PI, $100 k), 2014-2015
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Prospective Researcher Fellowship (PI, $90 k), 2012-2014
  • Kepler: GO Cycle 5 (on ultra-cool stars) (Co-I), 2013
  • Spitzer: Cycle-9 (Co-I, $5 k), 2013
  • European Space Agency & German Space Agency PhD Fellowship (PI, $180 k), 2008-2012
  • Space experiment Chondro II on Cervantes Mission to ISS (Science PI, ~ $5 Million), 2003-2006
  • Space experiment Chondro I (Science PI, ~ $5 Million), 2001-2002
  • Microgravity experiment Lidia on parabolic flights (PI, ~ $20 k), 2000-2001

Community Service
  • Reviewer for Nature Geoscience, Nature Astronomy, Icarus, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, PEPI, G-Cubed amongst other journals.
  • Panelist in various NASA’s NESSF Geophysics and NASA XRP Panels.
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), and the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Selected Awards
  • Simons Foundation’s Collaboration on the Origin of Life Fellowship
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Researcher Fellowship
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Prospective Researcher Fellowship
  • Nobel Laureate Symposium Award by German Aerospace Center
  • European Space Agency & German Space Agency Doctoral Fellowship

Teaching and Mentoring
  • SURP (Strategic University Research Partnership @ JPL), 2018-now
  • Lecturer, Workshop in Geology and Geophysics of the Solar System, Petnica, Serbia, 2018
  • Research Co-adviser, MIT, Caltech, and JPL2013-now
  • Organizer and lead lecturer for a new class between MIT and Harvard for graduate and undergraduate students entitled “Planets & Life – Human & Planetary Perspectives”, focusing on the planetary processes (geodynamic to atmospheric) impacting environmental stability. Includes class organization, lecturing, additional lecture series, and research project advising for the students. Click here for some videos, MIT, Fall 2014
  • Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, DLR Berlin, 2008-2012
  • Teaching Assistant, ETH Zurich, 2003-2004
  • Teaching assistant for undergraduate course in physics. Holding a weekly class for 40 undergraduate students, as well as course work and exam grading and mentoring
  • Teaching high school students physics, Earth sciences, and astronomy, 1996-2000, Weekly in the old observatory of Bern.