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Dr. Michelle Minitti Personal/Professional Page


Research Interests

My professional interests encompass experimental petrology research on planetary materials and the interface between science and engineering as exemplified in mission operations. On Mars, I facilitate the acquisition of and analyze data from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover by serving in numerous operational roles.  I work strategically with members of the engineering and operations teams to enable activities utilizing the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). My regular involvement in the tactical planning process contributes to day-to-day rover operations. On Earth, I use high temperature and/or pressure laboratory experiments to recreate lithologies detected on (or obtained from) planetary bodies with the goal of understanding the igneous or alteration processes that led to these lithologies. This research involves exploring linkages between the Martian meteorites and the chemistry, mineralogy and spectral properties measured by surface and orbital platforms at Mars, and investigating the differentiation histories of Mars and Mercury. My scientific activities have been consistently complemented by involvement with the delivery and development of planetary science content for formal (K-12) and informal education groups.

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