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Dr. Oleg Abramov

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in Dunedin, New Zealand
oabramov [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Earth, Enceladus, Europa, Mars, Moon
Disciplines/Techniques: Astrobiology, Impacts, Remote sensing, Thermal Emission Spectroscopy, Thermal modeling
Missions: Europa Clipper
Mission Roles: Calibration/Test planning, Instrument Co-Investigator, Mission science team, Science operations
Instruments: Cameras, Spectrometers, Imaging spectrometers

Research Interests

Professional History


Ph.D., Planetary Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2006

  • Dissertation: Impact-Induced Hydrothermal Activity on Earth and Mars, Advisor: David A. Kring
  • Minor: Molecular and Cell Biology

B.S., Biology, with Honors, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY, 1998


Employment & Research

Research Space Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center, Flagstaff, AZ

November 2011 - September 2015

  • Research included exploring the thermal effects of impact bombardments on terrestrial planets, serving as Co-Investigator on the E-THEMIS instrument, usage of Unmanned Aerial Systems, numerical modeling of hydrothermal activity on present-day Mars, and Cassini data analysis.
  • Served as Project Manager for image processing support for the OSIRIS REx mission.
  • Supervised undergraduate student researcher, advised on research funding, supervised USGS volunteer.

Urey Fellow, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX

October 2010 - October 2011

  • Conducted research on the lunar bombardment history using both Apollo sample analysis and numerical modeling techniques. Developed a global numerical model for the thermal effects of impact bombardments on the Moon, and an analytical impact melt scaling model for terrestrial planets. Modeled thermal, physical, and geochemical effects of a broad range of impactors on the lunar crust, and tested model predictions using microprobe analyses of lunar minerals as well as photogeological observations.
  • Supervised an undergraduate summer intern.

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, University of Colorado Boulder

August 2007 - August 2010
Studied conditions on Earth during the period of the Late Heavy Bombardment, approx. 3.9 billion years ago. Research involved computer modeling at the University of Colorado Boulder, ion microprobe analysis of ancient zircons at a laboratory at the University of California - Los Angeles, and field work is conducted at several locales throughout the world, including Canada, Australia, and Greenland. Development of custom thermal and fluid flow modeling software using C, FORTRAN, and Perl.

Postdoctoral Researcher, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO

August 2006 - August 2007

  • Conducted computer modeling of endogenic hotspots on Europa based on imaging and thermal data from the Galileo spacecraft. Constructed a thermal model of the south pole vents of Enceladus, constrained with data from the CIRS infrared spectrometer onboard the Cassini spacecraft. Calibrated and analyzed data from the New Horizons Jupiter encounter, and determined temperatures of Io volcanoes.
  • Data calibration and analysis of data from New Horizons.

Ph.D. Candidate, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

August 2000 - May 2006

  • Jupiter Europa Orbiter: Participated in Team X, a spacecraft design, analysis and evaluation study at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2005.
  • Evaluated methods for the interpolation of data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) instrument onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft to analyze martian valley networks for Mars Exploration Rovers' (MER)Landing Site selection.
  • Used a numerical modeling approach to investigate the dynamics, lifetimes, and biological habitability of impact- induced hydrothermal systems in a range of craters on Earth and Mars.
  • As a Teaching Assistant, conducted lectures and class demonstrations, taught review sections, administered labs, graded homework and exams, advised students during office hours, created and maintained course websites, maintained grade database.

Honors and Awards

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