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Dr. Matt Walker

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Associate Research Scientist

Currently resides in ME
mwalker [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Charon, Enceladus, Europa, Exoplanets, Ganymede, Icy satellites, Io, Phobos, Titan
Disciplines/Techniques: Celestial Mechanics, Education/Public Outreach (EPO), Geology, Geomorphology, Gravity, Numerical modeling, Planetary Interiors, Shape modeling, Tectonics, Thermal modeling

Research Interests

I study tidal heat in Ocean Worlds, like Europa. 

Tides force the ice shells at very many frequencies. The ice response to that forcing is frequency dependent based on temperature. With such a large temperature gradient across the ice, different parts of the tide ring loudest at various radial positions in the ice. We find that where this heat gets deposited is just as important, if not more, than how much heat is deposited. As a result, the shells evolve toward steady state in a bunch of ways which depend on the specific tidal configuration.

This research predicts shell thickness, heat flux, and Love numbers to aid in mission data interpretation.

Professional History


Planetary Science Intitute - Associate Research Scientist

2018 - 2020

University of Southern Maine - Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics

2017 - 2018

Arizona State University - Postdoctoral Scholar

2011 - 2017

University of California, Los Angeles - Graduate Student

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