Research

The Ehlmann lab specializes in planetary geology and surface remote sensing. Our interdisciplinary projects involve spectroscopy, image analysis, 3-d data visualization, mineralogy, petrology, biogeochemistry, astrobiology, and environmental change. We work on all planets with solid surfaces with orbiters, rovers, landers and traditional field geology.

research image

Remote Sensing and Infrared Spectroscopy
Minerals, ices, and organics record the evolutionary history of planets. We develop approaches to determine what planets are made of and monitor changing environments. Our specialties are in imaging spectroscopy, stereo imaging, and multiple dataset integration whether from orbit, from UAVs, on the ground with rovers and landers, or in the lab.
More >>

research image

Exploring Mars
We examine the biggest questions in Mars history. Why did a once-watery world become a cold desert? What processes control the evolution of past and present surface climate? Did Mars, like Earth, develop life and does that life still exist on Mars today?
More >>

research image

Understanding Ceres
The arrival of the Dawn spacecraft at Ceres has provided a rich dataset for understanding the evolution of Ceres, the largest asteroid and a dwarf planet. Ice-rich, organic-rich, and with a surprising amount of recent geologic activity, Ceres has shown some asteroids are geologically active worlds and may even support subsurface water brines today.
More >>

research image

Future Missions & Instruments
Guided by science questions about the evolution of the solar system and monitoring Earth, Professor Ehlmann also works with colleagues across the world to develop new instruments and missions of exploration.
More >>

Thanks to NASA, NSF, National Geographic, the Rose Hills Foundation, Foster and Coco Stanback, and Caltech and JPL internal funds for support of our work.