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Dr. Margaret Landis

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Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Currently resides in Albuquerque, NM
mlandis [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Ceres, Mars
Disciplines/Techniques: Crater Counting, Geomorphology, Impacts, Mapping, Neutron spectroscopy, Remote sensing, Thermal modeling
Mission Roles: Mission science team
Instruments: Cameras, Neutron detectors

Research Interests

My research interests are ice and craters on planetary bodies.

I'm currently working on Dawn's Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector (GRaND) with Thomas Prettyman in Albuquerque, NM. 

For my PhD, I worked on High Resoution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images of small polar impact craters to better understanding the timing and current activity of the polar layered deposits. I also modeled the stability and vapor production of water ice, both buried and on the surface, in order to understand the origin of Ceres' transient exosphere as part of the Dawn team. My advisor for both projects was Shane Byrne at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona. 

Professional History

Work History

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute (2018-current)

NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (2014-2018) 

Workshops and Summer Schools

  •  Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science Workshop, 6-7 February 2018
  •  Short Course and Field School at the Sudbury Impact Structure, 23-30 September 2017
  • Workshop on the Theoretical and Laboratory Studies of Icy Regoliths, 5-7 September 2017 
  • Keck Institute for Space Studies “Unlocking the Climate Record Stored within Mars’ Polar Layered Deposits” workshop participant, August 2017
  • Planetary Science Summer School, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Summer 2016
    • Shadowed the Team X risk chair, served as spacecraft camera team lead and moons/geology science theme participant for a Uranus orbiter mission concept study
  • Workshop on Issues in Crater Studies and the Dating of Planetary Surfaces, May 2015
  • NAIF SPICE training workshop, October 2014


  • Landis, M.E., S. Byrne, N. Schörghofer, B.E. Schmidt, P.O. Hayne, J. Castillo-Rogez, M.V. Sykes, J.-P. Combe, A. I. Ermakov, T.H. Prettyman, C. Raymond, C.T. Russell (2017), Conditions for Sublimating Water Ice to Supply Ceres' Exosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, doi:10.1002/2017JE005335
  • Landis, M. E., S. Byrne, I. J. Daubar, K. E. Herkenhoff, and C. M. Dundas (2016), A revised surface age for the North Polar Layered Deposits of Mars, Geophysical Research Letters 43, 3060–3068, doi:10.1002/2016GL068434.
  • Ruesch, O., L.C. Quick, M.E. Landis, M.M. Sori, O. Čadek, P. Brož, K.A. Otto, M.T. Bland, S. Byrne, J.C. Castillo-Rogez, H. Hiesinger. (2018). Bright carbonate surfaces on Ceres as remnants of salt-rich water fountains. Icarus.doi: j.icarus.2018.01.022
  • Combe, J.-P., A. Raponi, F. Tosi, M.C. De Sanctis, F. G. Carrozzo, F. Zambon, E. Ammannito, K.H.G. Hughson, A. Nathues, M. Hoffman, T. Platz, G. Thangjam, N. Schorghofer, S. Schroder, S. Byrne, M.E. Landis, O. Ruesch, T.B. McCord, K.E. Johnson, S.M. Singh, C.A. Raymond, C.T. Russell (2017), Exposed H2O-rich areas detected on Ceres with the Dawn Visible and Infra Red mapping spectrometer, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.12.008
  • Schorghofer, N., S. Byrne, M.E. Landis, E. Mazarico, T.H. Prettyman, B.E. Schmidt, M.N.Villarreal, J. Castillo-Rogez, C.A. Raymond, C.T. Russell (2017), The putative cerean exosphere, Astrophysical Journal, 85:1, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa932f
  • Robbins, S.J., W.A. Watters, J.E. Chappelow, V.J. Bray, I.J. Daubar, R.A. Craddock, R.A. Beyer, M.E. Landis, L.R. Ostrach, L. Tornabene, J.D. Riggs, B.P. Weaver (2017),Measuring impact crater depth throughout the solar system, Meteoritics and PlanetaryScience, doi: 10.1111/maps.12956
  • Combe, J.-P., T.B. McCord, F. Tosi, E. Ammannito, F.G. Carrozzo, M.C. De Sanctis, A. Raponi, S. Byrne, M.E. Landis, K.H.G. Hughson, C.A Raymond, C.T. Russell (2016), Detectionof local H2O exposed at the surface of Ceres, Science, 353:6303,doi:10.1126/science.aaf3010
  • Platz, T., A. Nathues, N. Schorghofer, Frank Preusker, E. Mazarico, S. E. Schröder, S.Byrne, T. Kneissl, N. Schmedemann, J.-P. Combe, M. Schafer, G.S. Thangjam,M. Hoffman, P. Gutierrez-Marques, M.E. Landis, W. Dietrich, J. Ripken, K.-D.Matz, C. T. Russell (2016) Surface water-ice deposits in the northern shadowedregions of Ceres. Nature Astronomy 1 (2016): 0007.
  • Sori, M.M., J. Bapst, A. Bramson, S. Byrne, M.E. Landis (2017). A Wunda-full world?Carbon dioxide ice deposits on Umbriel and other Uranian moons, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.029
  • Sori, M. M., S. Byrne, C. W. Hamilton, M. E. Landis (2016). Viscous flow rates of icy topography on the north polar layered deposits of Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 541–549, doi:10.1002/2015GL067298.

Honors and Awards

  • Gerard P. Kuiper Memorial Award (2018)
  • Award for Excellence in Scholarship, University of Arizona, College of Science, Department of Planetary Sciences/LPL (Spring 2018)
  • Lunar and Planetary Institute Career Development Award for travel to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (March 2018)
  • University of Arizona Graduate and Professional Student Council Travel grant for attendance at the Workshop on Theoretical and Laboratory Studies of Icy Regoliths (September 2017)
  • Outstanding Service and Outreach award, Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (Spring 2017)
  • Best Graduate Student Talk, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Conference (Fall 2016)
  • Mars Exploration Program Student Travel Grant, for attendance at the 6th International Conference on Mars Polar Science and Exploration (Summer 2016)
  • Curson Travel Award (Spring 2016)
  • Galileo Circle Scholar (Spring 2015, Spring 2017)
  • Mars Exploration Program Student Travel Grant, for attendance at the Workshop on Issues in Crater Studies and the Dating of Planetary Surfaces (Spring 2015)

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