Planetary Scientist, Feminist, Artist, Nerd
Jamie Molaro, PhD
I am currently a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. My work focuses on fracture processes and breakdown in rocky and icy material on airless bodies. I study the role of thermally induced stresses in boulder disaggregation and regolith production, and the contribution this makes to landscape evolution on the Moon, asteroids, dwarf planets, comets, and icy moons. I also work to understand how this cyclic processing changes the bulk properties of materials, the differences between rock and ice in the outer solar system, and how competing processes (such as ice sintering) may interact with surface breakdown. I study these processes at a variety of scales, from micro- to macroscopic, working to build an in-depth understanding the role thermal forcing plays in surface evolution. I employ primarily numerical modeling techniques in my research, along with the occasional laboratory experiment and terrestrial field study.
I'm also a member of the Project for Exploration Science Pathfinder Research for Enhancing Solar System Observations (Project ESPRESSO), a new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) node. Once my postdoc is complete, I'll be shifting to the SETI Institution to continue my research.
In my free time, I run science-art shows, make stuff out of other stuff, and play lots of board and video games with my husband. Unfortunately, my dog isn't great at board games because she doesn't have opposable thumbs, but she always wins at squirrel-chasing.