UTSA-SwRI Space Physics
Graduate Program


Ben Byron


Ben Bryon Dissertation Title: Far-UV Investigation of Lunar Space Weathering and Regolith Surface Properties with LRO-LAMP Dissertation Advisor: Kurt Retherford Graduation Date: 2020 Post-Doctoral Fellowship: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Areas: The effects of space weathering and other surface processes/properties on the far-UV reflectance of the lunar regolith as observed by LRO LAMP. His current research involves investigating the thermophysical properties of the lunar surface with the Diviner Lunar Radiometer instrument onboard LRO. Professional Link: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ben Byron2023-05-26T13:49:50+00:00

Jenna Zink


Jenna Zink Thesis Title: Absolute Measurements of keV Electron Beams Thesis Advisor: Frederic Allegrini Current Position and Research Areas: Jenna is currently an Intern at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, they are a full service lobbying and consulting firm specializing in advocacy for scientific research and higher education. She is interested in science communication,advocacy, and science policy.

Jenna Zink2023-05-26T13:49:25+00:00

Joseph Westlake


Joseph Westlake Dissertation Title: Titan's upper atmospheric structure and ionospheric compositionDissertation Advisor: Hunter WaiteGraduation Date: Summer 2011Post-Doctoral Fellowship: John Hopkins University Applied Physics LaboratoryCurrent Position: John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory – Chief ScientistCurrent Position and Research Areas: He is a space physicist whose research focuses on understanding the planetary magnetospheres in our Solar System as well as understanding the structure and processes that produce the heliosphere, our local space environment. At APL, he has been responsible for the development of the low-energy plasma laboratory that is used to conduct plasma instrument calibrations and for various instrument development activities at APL [...]

Joseph Westlake2023-05-26T13:49:31+00:00

Sarah Vines


Sarah Vines Dissertation Title: Ion-scale characteristics and dynamics of dayside magnetopause reconnection exhausts: Effects of interplanetary magnetic field orientation Dissertation Advisor: Stephen Fuselier Graduation Date: Fall 2016 Current Position: John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory - Staff Scientist Fellowships and Recognitions: Texas Space Grant Consortium, 2015-2017 Research Areas: She is the Co-PI of the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) project and the lead of the Lunar Vertex mission’s Vector Magnetometer – Lander (VML) and Vector Magnetometer – Rover (VMR) suites. She is also a member of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission’s Fluxgate Magnetometer (FGM) and Energetic Ion Spectrometer [...]

Sarah Vines2023-05-26T13:49:40+00:00

Brent Randol


Brent Randol Dissertation Title: Measurements of solar wind and pick-up ions from new horizons/solar wind around Pluto Dissertation Advisor: David McComas Graduation Date: Summer 2012 Post-Doctoral Fellowship: NASA Current Position: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – Research AST Research Areas: His main focus is understanding the acceleration of suprathermal particles in the solar wind. He also is involved with instrument and mission development at GSFC.

Brent Randol2023-05-26T13:49:45+00:00

George Nicolaou


George Nicolaou Thesis Title: Bulk properties of plasma ions in the deep Jovian magnetotail Thesis Advisor: David J. McComas Current Position and Research Areas: George is a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna, Sweden.

George Nicolaou2023-05-25T19:53:19+00:00

David Mackler


David Mackler, PH.D. Dissertation Title: An Observational Study of the Relationship Between Precipitating Ions and ENAs Emerging from the Ion/Atmosphere Interaction Region Dissertation Advisor: Jörg-Micha Jahn Graduation Date: Spring 2014 Post-Doctoral Fellowship: The Florida Space Institute Research Areas: His research interests are varied but all focus around space science and space instrumentation design. He has done research in many areas including mesospheric / ionospheric / thermospheric / magnetospheric / heliospheric physics. His passion is NASA and the manned space program, which has been a constant driver throughout my endeavors. His current projects are on the following topics: [...]

David Mackler2023-05-25T19:53:23+00:00

Kristie Llera


Kristie LLera Dissertation Title: Energetics of Near-Earth Particles: Energy Corrections in Observations and Measurement Dissertation Advisor: Jerry Goldstein Fellowships and Recognitions: MMS Early Career Grant Fellowship (2021) 32nd NASA Annual Planetary Science Summer School (PSSS) (2019) NASA/Texas Space Grant Consortium Fellow (2012-2015) SwRI/UTSA Joint Space Physics Fellowship (2011-2017) Graduation Date: Fall 2017 Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Southwest Research Institute Current Position: Southwest Research Institute – Research Scientist Research Areas: Dr. LLera continues to research how the Sun's solar wind interacts with near-Earth and cometary environments.  Currently, studying magnetospheric boundaries around Earth (Magnetospheric MultiScale mission; FPI instrument) and ion-neutral interactions near comet 67P (Rosetta mission; [...]

Kristie Llera2023-05-25T19:53:29+00:00

Roberto Livi


Roberto Livi Thesis Title: On Plasma Convection Around Saturn's Magnetosphere Thesis Advisor: Jerry Goldstein Current Position and Research Areas: Roberto is currently a postdoc at Space Science Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley. He is working on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) where he is studying Mars' plasma environment and particle escape rate from the surface using the Suprathermal and Thermal Ion Composition instrument.

Roberto Livi2023-05-25T19:53:34+00:00

Rachael Filwett


Dissertation Title: Measuring the Sources and Acceleration Mechanisms of Suprathermal Heavy Ions in Stream Interaction Regions Near 1 AU Dissertation Advisor: Mihir Desai Fellowships and Recognitions: University of Iowa Postdoctoral Excellence Award - 2021 National Science Foundation Atmosphere and Geospace Postdoctoral Research Fellow Graduation Date: Summer 2018 Post-Doctoral Fellowship: University of Iowa Current Position: Assistant Professor of Physics at Montana State University Research Areas: Rachael studies energetic particles, originating from the Sun, in both the interplanetary medium and planetary magnetospheres. She is particularly interested in the acceleration and transport of ions associated with solar transients such as coronal mass ejections [...]

Rachael Filwett2023-09-12T17:48:04+00:00
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