Team

Team

Staff

Professor Javier Martín-Torres

Prof. Martín-Torres is a theoretical physicist with interdisciplinary research interests. He is leading Earth and planetary research using theoretical models, experimental data and developing space-borne instrumentation and laboratory facilities. He is the Principal Investigator of the HABIT/ExoMars 2020 instrument, and co-I of the NASA´s Curiosity rover, and. the ESA´s Trace Gas Orbiter between others.

Prof. Martin-Torres has devoted 15 years of his career to radiative transfer, remote sensing, and atmospheric studies from the troposphere to the thermosphere, including studies of solar energy deposition and energetic balance of the atmosphere; and is the author of the line-by-line radiative transfer model FUTBOLIN (Full Transfer By Optimized LINE-by-line) methods.

He has an extensive international career that started as a Guest PhD at the University of Oxford, UK. After that, he received an ESA Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung and Universität Karlsruhe, Germany. Since then, he has worked at NASA/Langley Research Center, Hampton, USA; the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA; the Lunar and Planetary Institute at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA; the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA; the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, and the Spanish Research Council, Spain. 

Currently, he holds the Honorary Fellow status at the School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering of the University of Edinburgh, U.K., and he is Specially Appointed Professor at the Okayama University at Misasa, Japan.

He has received several recognitions, including 5 NASA Awards.
 

Professor María-Paz Zorzano

María-Paz Zorzano is a theoretical physicist (MSc 1995, PhD 1999) working on planetary physics. She is passionate about her research on astrobiology and planetary exploration. She investigates the interaction of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and radiation with the surface of planetary environments (Researcher ID F-2184-2015). She obtained her Ph.D. in Physics at the particle accelerator DESY (Hamburg, Germany), she did her postdoctoral research at CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) and is a certified Project Manager Professional.  She is deeply involved in the design of instrumentation and facilities for the exploration of Mars, the Moon and Earth, from its development, through its operation, up to scientific exploitation.   

She is co-Principal Investigator of the HABIT instrument, of the ExoMars Surface Platform (ESA/IKI), co-I of REMS onboard the Curiosity rover (NASA) and co-I of ISEM of the ExoMars Rover (ESA/IKI).  She is a member of the Mars sample return Science Planning Group-2 (MSPG-2), an international team with the goal to define the requirements that will maximize the science return of the sample collection of the joint NASA/ESA Mars Sample Return mission. She is a researcher at the Astrobiology Center, of the National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), Spain; guest-professor in Atmospheric Science at the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden and member of the COSPAR (Committee On SPAce Research) Planetary Protection Panel. She is a frequent lecturer in both academic and public settings, supervises degree, master and PhD students, and has published more than 130 articles in academic refereed journals.
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Dr Anshuman Bhardwaj

Dr. Anshuman Bhardwaj started his career as a Research Fellow after receiving the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s fellowship, conferred by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Within this fellowship, he conducted his PhD glaciological research at the Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment. Afterwards, Dr. Bhardwaj joined as a Research Associate in the USAID-funded project entitled “the contribution to high Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS)”, coordinated by the University of Colorado-Boulder. In 2016, he joined Luleå University of Technology (LTU) Sweden as a postdoc and subsequently worked there as a Senior Lecturer. His research in LTU focused on Mars surface processes and cryosphere. He also served a collaborative affiliation of Senior Researcher (Planetary Science) at the National Space Science and Technology Center, UAE University before joining the University of Aberdeen as a Senior Lecturer.

Dr. Bhardwaj is a remote sensing specialist, trained in glacio-hydrological and planetary sciences. He has noteworthy research experience in remote sensing data interpretation, field data collection, spatial and non-spatial data integration in GIS and spatial modeling, and use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for environmental and Mars analogue research.

Dr. Bhardwaj is a member of Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment & Society (SAGES) and is also on the editorial board of several prestigious journals, such as ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing, Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Springer Nature Applied Sciences, BMC Research Notes, and Hydrology.
 

Dr Shaktiman Singh

Dr Shaktiman Singh started his research career as Research Intern after receiving Research Internship awards from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India for his Master’s thesis in 2010. He continued the work of his Master’s thesis in IIT Bombay as Research Assistant in 2011. After that, he worked in a livelihood support programme for earthquake hit population in Baramulla, Kashmir as Project Officer in Centre for Environment Education, India. Afterwards, Dr Singh joined as Research Fellow at Sharda University, India in 2012. During his time in Sharda University, he had the opportunity to work in several projects with a focus on glacio-hydrology funded by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and United States Agency for International Development. Dr Singh received the Bi-national PhD fellowship from DAAD to carry out last year of his PhD research in Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. After completion of his Ph.D., he continued working in Sharda University as Research Associate in a Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India funded project. Subsequently in 2018, Dr Singh joined Luleå University of Technology, Sweden to work as Postdoctoral Researcher. 

Dr Shaktiman Singh is a glaciologist with expertise in field-based terrestrial glacio-hydrological research. He has good research experience in using the field observation for development and application of a glacio-hydrological model for long-term data generation and its analysis for different climatic signatures, mainly in data deficient high altitude mountain ecosystems. Currently,  he is working on the usability of satellite-based land-surface temperature instead of air temperature in glacio-hydrological models. He is also working on the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in different parts of the Arctic circle attributed by the changing climate. He has also been working on the past glacio-hydrological processes on Martian land-surface and has been involved in planning and carrying out field campaigns for glaciological and Martian analogue research. 

Dr Singh has published several research papers in journals of international repute and has given invited talks and lectures in different national and international seminars, conferences and meetings. He is on the editorial board of journals of international repute like Remote Sensing, BMC Research Notes and Hydrology.

Dr Lydia Sam

Lydia Sam is a remote sensing expert working on understanding Earth and planetary surfaces. She has research experience in glacio-hydrological studies, elevation modelling, remote sensing-based image processing and information extraction from planetary missions, in-situ measurements, and spatial modeling. She received DAAD scholarship to continue her doctoral research in environmental science with focus on glaciology at Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Later on she joined Luleå University of Technology in Sweden as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research interests and contributions focus on using airborne and satellite remote sensing and GIS applications for environmental research, terrain modelling and interpretation, Martian landforms, using Unmanned aerial systems (UAS)/drones for environmental monitoring, analogies between terrestrial and Martian surfaces and landforms, and for studying the impact of changing climate on the cryosphere and water resources. Presently she is working as a lecturer in Earth Observation and Planetary Sciences in the School of Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen.

Juan Antonio Ramirez Luque

Juan Antonio has a computer science background, started his career at the Center for Astrobiology (Madrid, Spain), continued by STAR-Dundee (Dundee, UK), Lulea University of Technology (Lulea, Sweden) and the University of Aberdeen.

He has been more than 5 years involved in data analysis from space instruments and recently has been developing the software for the HABIT instrument part of ESA-IKI ExoMars 2022 mission that is going to be launched in 2022.

He has been doing drone mapping on different countries performing image analysis with custom software developed by him.

He is specialized in Linux system management and in advance technology for information treatment in Linux and Windows nets. He masters the programming languages C++, Java, Fortran 77/90, Web development, Bash scripting, Python, Databases and ActionScript.

Dr Thasshwin Mathanlal

Thasshwin Mathanlal has completed his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. He has an Engineering background with a Bachelors in Manufacturing Engineering and Masters in Space Science and Technology. His field of expertise is in Space Instrumentation focusing on instrument development for space and planetary exploration. His research interests are in Astrobiology, In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) and Robotic Instrumentation. He works currently on the HABIT instrument to Mars through the ExoMars 2022 mission. His innovative approach to research earned him the Global Swede Award from Sweden's Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2019. He has also been awarded as the Top 40 under 40 leaders who will shape the future of UK - India/ EU - India relations in 2020 by the Europe India Centre For Business And Industry (EICBI). He has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and has also presented his work in international conferences.

Dr Miracle Israel Nazarious

Miracle Israel Nazarious is an inspired and passionate engineer striving towards multi-disciplinary research and innovation in technologies for planetary exploration. He obtained his PhD within the Group of Atmospheric Science at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden in December 2020. His PhD thesis focussed on the development and qualification of instrumentation for atmospheric research and planetary exploration, with an emphasis on their interest to habitability, in-situ resource utilization, astrobiology, etc. His most significant contribution is with the calibration of the HABIT/ExoMars 2022 instrument. He also has a strong engineering background with a bachelors in Aeronautical engineering and masters in Space technology and instrumentation.  His recent research on “Space solution to world’s water crisis” was recognized at IAC 2019 with an IAF best interactive presentation award in “Space and Society category”. Apart from his research, he invests time on outreach and educational activities. He also loves traveling and adventure sports.

PhD. Students

Jyothi Basapathi Raghavendra

I’m Jyothi Basapathi, a Biotech engineer born and raised in Bangalore, India. I graduated from University of Bern, Switzerland where I pursued my Master of Science in Molecular Life Sciences. Apart from being fascinated by microbes, space research excites me. This combined interest led me to pursue my PhD in Astrobiology. Astrobiology set foot into my life in 2015 when I got an opportunity to travel with an amateur astronomer Amar Sharma to a forest in order to study the night sky. Being a multi-disciplinary field, it unites researchers from different backgrounds to solve the mystery of life within or outside our planet. My current project focuses on studying the role of microbial networks on carbon cycling under controlled temperature and pressure conditions using the Space-Q environmental chamber. I will monitor the evolution of environmental variables of the soil and microbes under different nutrient regimes using the Metabolt system and will characterise the response using state of the art stable isotope probing enabled metagenomic sequencing as a part of the collaboration with Queen’s University, Belfast. The results of this study will allow identification of the key gaseous signatures from soil/microbes related to environmental changes, and the implication for global warming. As an extrapolation of this study, the impact of Martian conditions on future in-situ resources production in controlled environments for Moon and Mars exploration can be inferred. This is critical for the future long-duration space missions such as settlements on the Moon and eventually Mars.


Besides science, adventures and associated sports excite me. Dance, music and hiking have always been my go-to mood.  Being a foodie, I love to travel, dig into various cuisines and experience diverse cultures. I’m always up to conversations and open to questions. 

Interns

Ashle Neish

I am currently between my 3rd and 4th years of an undergraduate chemistry degree at the University of Aberdeen. My interests include materials design, biochemistry, computational methods, and sustainable development regarding future planetary missions. During my internship at the Planetary Sciences group, I am working with different aerospace alloys and analysing their tribochemical relationship with Martian regolith using electrochemical experiments and AFM

Allen Drews

I’m Allen, a physicist from Germany. I studied at the University of Hannover, Germany, and the University of Durham, England, where I focused on biophysics and simulations of optical systems. I am currently doing my second Masters degree at Luleå University of Technology in Kiruna, Sweden, where the focus is Space Science and Technology.


For my internship, I am supporting Jyothi in her lab work in extracting DNA from various samples and am investigating the detection limits of our DNA sequencing tools. In addition, I am working with Javier on modeling the influence of environmental parameters on the physical sizes of cells and droplets. My broad interests are astrobiology and planetary protection, in particular how to minimize microbial contamination of spacecraft systems and the effect of extra-terrestrial environments on life as we know it from Earth.

Martin Herrero

I'm Martín, a third year student pursuing a Masters in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in the University of Aberdeen and I am originally from Madrid, Spain. I am passionate about new ways of exploring space and the possibilities that comes with it. 

During my 12 week internship program I will be working along my two supervisors Dr Thasshwin Mathanlal and Dr Miracle Israel Nazarious. Focusing in two exciting projects: 1) Automated bio aerosol sampling and 2) "Metabolt" Photobioreactor. Involving the design of autonomous systems, 3D modelling, 3D printing and computer aided machining (CAM), all in hand with Astrobiology. 

Leonie Becker

I’m Leonie, a student from Germany. Currently, I am studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Stuttgart. I am receiving a DAAD RISE-stipend for a summer research intership at the Department of Planetary Sciences.

During my internship I am developing an Autonomous Liquid Sampler (ALS) for planetary applications. The sampler is supposed to take samples from untouched environments autonomously without cross-contamination of the water body it is sampling from. Within the scope of my internship, I will design and analyse the ALS and then build a programmable prototype.

I am interested in spacecraft for exploration purposes, robotics and planetary protection.

Palash Mattoo

I'm Palash Mattoo, a recent graduate with an MEng in Aeronautics with Spacecraft Engineering from Imperial College London, England. During my time at university, I contributed to various engineering projects in a range of roles - most recently as Senior and Technical Lead for the development of CubeSats and CanSats. My masters thesis titled "A Study of 3D Origami" began an investigation into the mathematics behind the techniques required to create deployable space structures using thick, rigid materials.

I am currently at the University of Aberdeen as a student assistant, working with Thasshwin on the development of a thermal control system for fluxgate magnetometers. These instruments are highly sensitive to the Earth's magnetic field by design, but also to temperature variations, hence the need for accurate temperature control to eliminate an environmental variable causing erroneous readings.