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Planetary Science

The Moon


Faculty Graduate Students Research Staff Alumni

Current Research Staff and Postdocs

Candice Bedford

Candice Bedford, Research Scientist


Candice is a geochemist and mineralogist interested in planetary surface processes on the Earth and Mars. Most of her current research involves the use of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) by the Curiosity rover’s ChemCam instrument and the Perseverance rover’s SuperCam instrument on Mars to investigate the geological history of Mars. She also does a lot of research in Iceland, a place that is mineralogically similar to Mars, to ground-truth our hypotheses for Mars and test how useful different analytical instruments and instrument techniques are for future missions to other planetary bodies. Her research interests are geochemistry, mineralogy, volcanism, aeolian processes, fluvial processes, and astrobiology.


Nicolas Bott

Nicolas Bott, Postdoc


Nicolas spent the major part of his curriculum in France, where he was born. He received a BS in Fundamental Physics in 2014 from the Université Paris-Sud. Passionate about astrophysics since the high school, he specialized in planetary science before a PhD about Mercury’s surface at the Laboratoire d’Études Spatiales et d’Instrumentation en Astrophysique (LESIA) in Meudon, France. At Purdue, he analyzes the microstructural and chemical alterations caused by both ions irradiation and pulsed-laser irradiation on Mercury analogs samples to investigate the space weathering occurring at the surface of the innermost planet of our Solar system. Nicolas likes biking, watching sports, and playing video games.


Adrian Broz

Adrian Broz, Postdoc


Adrian is a postdoctoral research in Briony Horgan’s Planetary Surface Processes Lab at Purdue University and a postdoctoral researcher on the Mastcam-Z team on Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. He earned a BS and MS from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Oregon. He is interested in the alteration history and biosignature preservation potential of rocks at Jezero Crater. Some of his past work includes stable isotope paleoclimatology, mineralogy & diagenesis of Mars-analog paleosols from Oregon; Ediacaran paleontology and alteration history of rocks at the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary; weathering on land leading up to Neoproterozoic snowball Earth; and organic preservation in Archean (3.0-3.7 Ga) nonmarine rocks from Australia and Greenland. Adrian’s work with Mastcam-Z seeks to understand the composition, geological history, and biosignature preservation potential of rocks at Jezero Crater, and to link observations from Mastcam-Z with observations from orbital satellites.


Jun Du

Jun Du, Postdoc


Jun Du was born and grew up in Hefei, Anhui and Nanjing, Jiangsu in eastern China. He was fascinated with the sky and the universe since he was a kid, so later he chose to study remote sensing at Chengdu University of Technology in Chengdu, Sichuan. After he received his bachelor's degree in 2013, he joined the Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory at Peking University in Beijing and began to work on the surface processes on the Moon. From 2017 to 2018, he worked as a jointly-supervised student at Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur in Nice, France. After he earned his doctoral degree from China and France in 2019, he became a research associate at the National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In late 2021, he finally made it to Purdue in the U.S., where he will be studying the topographic degradation of lunar craters. Jun enjoys traveling, watching sports games and YouTube channels in his leisure time.


Kristel Izquierdo

Kristel Izquierdo, Postdoc


Kristel got her PhD from the University of Maryland in 2020 where she studied the distribution of density in the deep lunar interior. She joined Mike Sori and Ali Bramson’s groups as a postdoc in 2021.  She loves all planetary geophysics research and currently focuses on shallow lunar and Martian processes. Specifically, she works on impact-induced porosity, magmatic intrusions and cryptomaria of the Moon and spiral trough migration models of Mars. Kristel enjoys traveling (Mount Hua in China pictured on the left), playing volleyball and spending time with her dogs.  


Andrea Rajšić

Andrea Rajšić, Postdoc


Andrea Rajšić was born in Belgrade, Serbia. She obtained her BSc and MSc degree at University of Belgrade, where she focused on structural geology and tectonics. She did her PhD in Planetary Science at Curtin University, Western Australia. During her PhD, she was a part of NASA’s InSight Science team. She used numerical modeling (iSALE-2D shock physics code) of small impacts on Mars to get better understanding of Martian uppermost crust. Andrea joined Dr. Brandon Johnson’s group at Purdue in April 2022. As a Postdoc, she aims to understand the rock weakening processes during crater formation on the Moon and Earth, using numerical modeling technics. When she is not modeling craters, Andrea enjoys fine arts, hiking, and studying feminist and gender theory.


Clement Royer

Clement Royer, Postdoc


Clement studied in France at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris-Saclay and did his PhD at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale on the ground calibration of the SuperCam instrument on board the Perseverance rover, the preparation of Mars operations, and more generally the study of new generation IR spectrometers for space instruments. He is interested in the formation and alteration processes of planetary surfaces using an instrumental approach and fine data modeling. If he doesn't understand something, he models it!


Lingqi Zeng

Lingqi Zeng, Postdoc


Lingqi earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Chengdu University of Technology in 2014 and 2017, respectively. During his studies, he developed a keen interest in Cenozoic lacustrine deposits of the Tibetan Plateau. Pursuing his curiosity for lacustrine processes, he carried out research on the paleolake deposits of the Miocene Ries impact structure and received his Ph.D. in 2022 from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Germany. As a post-doc at Purdue University, he turned his focus from Earth to Mars and aims to understand hydrothermal and lacustrine processes on the ancient Martian surface. Lingqi enjoys cooking, Via Ferrata, mountaineering and biking.


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