The Ehlmann lab spans the options in Caltech’s Geological & Planetary Sciences Division.
Interested in joining the Ehlmann lab?
- Postdoctoral scholars: We are seeking a postdoc with interests in imaging spectroscopy of the Earth surface for composition and ecosystem studies. The position is part-time on the EMIT mission and part-time on other Ehlmann lab topics related to imaging spectroscopy (e.g., WISER tool development; microscale- or field-based imaging spectroscopy; quantitative mineralogy; planetary imaging spectroscopy). Postdoctoral candidates should also note our Division prize fellowships that have fall-to-winter deadlines and some Caltech fellowships with earlier deadlines. Prof. Ehlmann also works with JPL scientists to co-advise NASA postdoctoral program applicants. Write an email to Prof Ehlmann with a brief statement of interests and full CV with "Prospective Postdoc" in the subject line.
- Graduate students: Graduate students apply to a Ph.D. option with GPS and work with two faculty their first year prior to selection of an advisor(s) (see GPS graduate program FAQ). Late December/early January is the deadline for graduate admissions (see Caltech sites for details). Due to the current size of the lab, we are not presently in active recruiting mode but do review all applications received and make option-level admissions decisions in conjunction with other faculty.
- Undergraduate students: We accept applications through Caltech's WAVE and SURF programs for summer interns. For those interested in lunar science or mission operations, we have a Lunar Trailblazer internship, offered termly (announced on the mission twitter).
Professor Bethany Ehlmann
Professor of Planetary Science
Professor Ehlmann's research focuses on the mineralogy and chemistry of planetary surfaces, remote sensing techniques and instruments, astrobiology, and science policy and outreach.
Research Scientist in Image Processing
In his capacity as an imaging scientist in charge of Caltech's Bruce Murray Lab for Planetary Visualization, the Ehlmann group works extensively with Jay Dickson.
Dr. Rebecca Greenberger
Lab Manager and Research Scientist
Dr. Rebecca Greenberger (she/her/hers) received her PhD in 2015 from Brown University, joined the Ehlmann group as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at JPL for two years, and has been the group’s lab manager and a research scientist at Caltech since 2017. She is interested using imaging spectroscopy and other spectroscopic techniques in the field and laboratory to better understand Earth and other planets. Her current projects include investigation of deep hydrothermal circulation in Earth's ocean crust and the products of serpentinization, both using micro-imaging spectroscopy.
Research Technician Associate
Jasper Miura (he/him) joined the Ehlmann lab after completing his B.Sc. in inorganic geochemistry at Brown University in 2019. His current project uses imaging spectroscopy to study Martian meteorite spectral diversity. His work also consists of brand design, web design, and general graphic design for the Lunar Trailblazer mission.
Dr. Andrew Annex
Dr. Andrew Annex joined the Ehlmann lab after receiving his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in January 2022. His dissertation was on the regional sedimentary record of Arabia Terra, Mars. His interests include surface processes, remote sensing, and the applications of artificial intelligence towards the exploration of Mars and ocean worlds.
Dr. Lucia Mandon
Dr. Lucia Mandon received her PhD in 2020 from the University of Lyon, before joining the Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics in Paris as a postdoctoral researcher for two years. She joined Caltech and the Ehlmann group in 2022 on a Texaco Postdoctoral Research fellowship. Her research focuses on the characterization of Martian past environments using a combined approach of remote sensing, rover-based analysis and analog lab work. She is involved in the Mars 2020 mission as a SuperCam and Mastcam-Z team member.
Samantha Baker (she/her/hers) graduated from the University of Chicago in 2021 with a B.S. in Geophysical Sciences. In her current research, she uses spectral data to understand the aqueous history of Mars through the examination of silicate weathering. Her broad research interests include exploring planetary surface processes through the lenses of geochemistry and geomorphology.
Mma Ikwut-Ukwa (she/her) received her A.B. in Astrophysics with a secondary in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 2020. Mma’s interests span questions of evolution and habitability for solar and extrasolar planets. She is currently working on dating glacial-like features in the Martian mid-latitudes to provide constraints for models of the Amazonian climate.
Valeria Kachmar (she/her) graduated with a B.Sc. in Physics from RUDN University, Russia, in 2021. Before joining the Ehlmann lab in 2022, she worked on microwave experiments to simulate the lunar dust exosphere in the lab. Currently, she is modeling reflectance spectra of water-ice deposits on the Moon, trying to understand how different ice scenarios would manifest themselves in remote sensing data.
Oak (they/them/theirs) graduated from Dartmouth College in [the fateful year of] 2020 with A.B.s in Earth Science and Native American Studies. Their broad research interests include Martian paleoclimate; the development of a generalized model of planetary evolution through comparative planetary science; and questions of habitability. Their current work focuses on Martian geomorphology and the history of liquid water on Mars, as well as Martian landscape evolution through dry processes such as rockfall.
Abigail Keebler grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania and graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 2021 with her B.S. in Geoscience-Geology and minors in Physics and Mathematics. Abigail is interested in planetary surface processes on terrestrial planets and rocky moons. Currently, she is using spectroscopy to constrain the mineralogy of atmospheric dust on Earth.
Will Lawrence is from Toronto, Canada and graduated from Yale in 2022 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Earth & Planetary Sciences. His current research involves the spectral characterization of primitive meteorites (carbonaceous chondrites) and how it may be used to elucidate processes that occurred on parent body asteroids. He is generally interested in the application of remote sensing to space exploration, as well as the distribution and evolution of organic matter and volatile compounds in the solar system.
Jessica grew up in Nampa, Idaho, and graduated from Boise State University with a B.S. in Geosciences in 2021. She is broadly interested in the isotopic and mineral evolution of the solar system. In her current research, she is creating a robust framework of spectral data from calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) that will better inform the interpretations of remote sensing data.
Sergio Parra is an Atlanta-native and earned his B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, alongside a minor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. His current work centers on characterizing the aqueous alteration of carbonaceous chondrites using SWIR spectroscopy. His broad research interests include ancient habitable environments, the origin of life, and extant microbial communities in the deep biosphere.
Yu Yu Phua
Yu Yu Phua graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2021 with a M.S. in Materials Science. She is interested in studying planetary chemistry involving H2O through laboratory experiments. Currently, she is working on the detection threshold for H2O spectral signatures.
Erin Pimentel (she/her) graduated from Hamilton College in 2022 with a B.A. in Geosciences and minors in Mathematics and Japanese. She is broadly interested in planetary surfaces and the remote sensing techniques used to study them. She is currently working on improving topography maps over tessera terrain on Venus using Magellan radar altimeter data and integrating datasets of water ice abundance on the Moon in preparation for the upcoming Lunar Trailblazer mission.
- Brandon Rasmussen (MS 2020) –now working at Planet
- Dr. Eva Scheller (PhD 2022) –now 51 Pegasi b Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT
- Dr. Kevin Roback (PhD 2021) –now Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses
- Dr. Nathan Stein (PhD 2020) –now Senior Machine Learning Engineer, Rebellion Defense
- Dr. Ellen Leask (PhD 2020) –now Postdoctoral Scholar, Applied Physics Lab
- Dr. William Rapin (postdoc 2017-2020) –now CNRS Research Scientist, Université de Toulouse
- Dr. Peter Martin (PhD 2020) –now Associate Data Scientist II, KoBold Metals
- Dr. Dana Anderson (PhD 2020) –now Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Science
- Dr. Valerie Fox (postdoc 2017-2019) –now Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Minnesota
- Dr. Nancy Thomas (PhD 2019) –now on Black Sky Image Processing Team at Spaceflight Industries
- Dr. Elena Amador (postdoc 2017-2019) –now Systems Engineer on MSL Science Operations Team at JPL
- Dr. Peter Buhler (PhD 2018) –now Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
- Dr. Jennifer Buz (PhD 2018) –now Remote Sensing Scientist, Orbital Sidekick
- Dr. Daven Quinn (PhD 2018) –now Research Scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Dr. Mathieu Lapôtre (PhD 2017) –now Assistant Professor at Stanford University
- Dr. Lu Pan (PhD 2017) –now Postdoc, Centre for Star and Planet Formation, University of Copenhagen; Assistant Professor of Planetary Science, University of Science and Technology of China, starting in 2023
- Dr. Abigail Fraeman (postdoc 2014-2016) –now Research Scientist at JPL
- Dr. Christopher Edwards (postdoc 2012-2015) –now Associate Professor at Northern Arizona University
- Dr. Cedric Pilorget (postdoc 2012-2014) –now Research Faculty at IAS-Orsay
Current and Former Interns
- Belinda Blakley (Pasadena City College)
- Claire Blaske (Arizona State University ’23; co-advised with Rebecca Greenberger)
- Amy Wang (Cornell ’23; co-advised with Rebecca Greenberger)
- Sahil Azad (Caltech ’25; co-advised with Rebecca Greenberger)
- Andy Sun (Caltech ’24)
- Riley Tam (Caltech ’24; co-advised with Jay Dickson)
- Marcos Perez (Caltech ’23)
- Molly Crotteau (Caltech ’21; co-advised with Rebecca Greenberger; now graduate student at UC Santa Barbara)
- Ethan Ordentlich (Caltech ’21; co-advised with Rebecca Greenberger)
- Lauren Suezaki (Caltech ’21, now electrical engineer at Northrop Grumman)
- Elise Cutts (Caltech ’19; now American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Fellow)
- Geraint Northwood-Smith (Cambridge ’17; co-advised with Abigail Fraeman; now graduate student at Imperial College London, planetary science)
- Cauê Borlina (U. Michigan ’16; now Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University)
- Eyjolfur Gudmundsson (U. Reykjavik ’13; now research fellow at University College London, medical image computing)
- Bryne Hadnott (Washington University in St. Louis ’13; now Data Curator and Storyteller at Stanford University)
- Cecilia Sanders (Harvard ’16; co-advised with Glenn Sellar (JPL); now graduate student at Caltech, geology)
- David Smith (Troy High School, ’13)
- Jade Wang (Caltech ’15)