SESE Exploration Postdoctoral Fellows

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Program overview

The mission of the Exploration Fellowships is to foster a leading, interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellowship program in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU by attracting and supporting outstanding early-career scientists. Research areas within the School encompass theoretical and observational astronomy, cosmology, astrobiology, earth sciences, climate science, planetary sciences, exploration systems engineering, astronomical instrumentation, and science education. Applicants whose dissertation research was in any of these research areas, and especially those with aspirations to extend their portfolios in an interdisciplinary way, are encouraged to apply

The Exploration Fellowship program typically appoints up to two new Fellows per year for three-year fellowship durations. Fellows are selected through a competitive proposal process in the fall. Watch the SESE website for information about future fellowship opportunities.

All current Exploration Fellows receive:

  • Competitive annual stipend, health benefits, and support programs (postdoc resources and  guidelines at ASU)
  • Discretionary research funds
  • Personal career mentoring through association with two primary faculty mentors in the School of Earth and Space Exploration
  • Independence in research direction and activities

Since its inception in 2010, the Exploration Fellowship program has launched many Fellows to tenure-track or permanent research positions following their fellowships. Read about the research interests of current and former Fellows below.

Current Exploration Fellows (2019-2020 academic year)

Alan Jackson (2019-2022)

Ph.D., University of Cambridge

Terrestrial Planet Formation at Home and Abroad

Anna Grau (2018-2021)

Ph.D., University of British Columbia

A First Detailed Characterization of the Glacial and Subglacial Environment of Early Mars

Joseph O'Rourke (2017-2020)

Ph.D., Caltech

Implications of Core/Mantle Miscibility for the Accretion of Earth and the Evolution of Super-Earth Exoplanets

Former Exploration Fellows

Charlene Estrada (2016-2019)
Maricopa Community College

Characterization and Early Transformation of Microfossils at Mineral Surfaces through Deep Time

 Ajay Limaye (2018-2019)

Assistant Professor, University of Virginia

Linking Meandering River Deposits to an Ancient Surface Environment on Mars

Cayman Unterborn (2016-2018)
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University

From Star to Stone: Building an Internally Self-Consistent and Open-Source Terrestrial Planet Builder for Exploring Extrasolar Habitability

Karen Pardos Olsen (2015-2018)
Postdoctoral Scholar, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

Interstellar Gas Conditions at High Redshift; Modeling [CII] and CO Line Emission

Sarah Cichy (2014-2016)
Senior Research Scientist, University of Potsdam

Towards an Eruption-Geospeedometer: Diffusive Lithium Isotope Fractionation During Degassing and Crystal Growth
Harmony Colella (2014-2016)
Moore Foundation Fellow, UC-Berkeley and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
Investigation of Complex Fault Interactions with a Physics-Based Earthquake Simulator & Qualitative Assessment of Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Monica Palta (2014-2016)
Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies and Science, Pace University
Linking Riverine-Wetland Hydrogeomorphic and Biogeochemical Modeling in Urban and Natural Reaches of the Salt River
Adam Forte (2013-2015)
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University

Bridging the Gap Between Geomorphology and Stratigraphy with Detrital Thermo- and Geochronology: The Influence of Surface Processes on the Detrital Zircon Record

Anand Thirumalai (2013-2015)
Assistant Professor, DigiPen Institute of Technology
Wolf-Rayet Stars - A Magneto-Dusty Demise
Anne Pommier (2012-2014)
Assistant Professor
Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Univ. California, San Diego
High Pressure Measurements of Silicate Melt Viscosity: Implications for Magma Ocean Dynamics and Time Evolution

Zhenya Zheng (2012-2014)
Research Professor
Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, CAS (China)

Co-evolution of Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes
Lauren Edgar (2012-2014)
Research Geologist
Astrogeology Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Evaluating the Magnitude of Erosive Processes at Gale Crater, Mars
Ed Nissen (2011-2012)
Associate Professor
School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
University of Victoria
Rapid Collection of Topographic Data from UAVs: Applications for Earthquake Faulting and Earth Surface Processes
Jordan Okie (2011-2012)
Assistant Research Professor
School of Earth and Space Exploration

Arizona State University
Thermodynamic and Kinetic Constraints on Metabolic Diversity: Quantifying the Biogeochemical Niche Space of Life
Soma De (2010-2013)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cosmology Research Group
Institute for Astronomy
ETH Zurich
SNe 1a Light Curves; Martian Atmosphere; Polarization spectra of cosmic microwave background
Briony Horgan (2010-2012)
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Purdue University
Non-Crystalline Weathering Products on Mars
Melissa Morris (2010-2011)
Associate Professor
Dept. of Physics
State University of New York (SUNY)
Evaporation Histories of Chondrules (nebula shocks)
Loÿc Vanderkluysen (2010-2013)
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Drexel University
Fluids and Dynamics LUSI Mud Volcano
Hua Wang (2010-2011)In-Situ Measurement of Shear Stress and Chemical Species in Hotsprings