I try to understand the history of water on Mars (past and present). My research is two-fold: (1) the study of ancient lakes on Mars, and (2) the development of science strategies for robotic missions to Mars. A significant part of my time is focused on participating and designing rover field experiments. I started as a science team member on the Marsokhod rover field experiments in Kilauea in 1995, Tuba City (AZ) 1996; I was the project science lead for the Nomad rover field experiment in the Atacama desert, Chile, in 1997 and for the ASRO field experiment in 1999 (Mojave, CA). ASRO was the first of the kind to put together a rover and an astronaut in the field and study their interaction. In 1999 (Mojave, CA). I was also deputy science lead on a Marsokhod rover field experiment the same year. Currently, I am the science lead of a large NASA ASTEP project which PI is Red Whittaker of CMU (Pittsburgh). Our goal is to develop robotic astrobiology in the 3 coming years and have a rover able to unambiguously identify life in the field.
I am a Athena Science Team member. I was selected as a Participating Scientist at the end of May 2002. I will be styding the traces left by the action of water at both landing sites at macro and micro scale. For instance, looking at the images provides by the microscopic imager, I will analyze the size, shape, and distribution of sedimentary grains and will try to infer if water deposited them or other processes. I will also analyze the images of PanCam and look for layered sediments. In addition to my role in the science team, I was also involved in the landing site selection process and supported Gusev crater. Gusev has been recommended by the science community and science team to be the MER A site. Now its safety is being evaluated by the engineers.
Currently being discussed