Planetary geoscience at the University of Chicago
Solar System and Exoplanet Habitability

The research group formed in January 2015. The group consists of Edwin Kite (PI), Mohit Melwani Daswani (postdoc, water-rock interaction; starts June 2015), and David Mayer (Planetary GIS/Data Specialist). Funding has been secured to hire one or more additional postdocs, and graduate students.

I am especially interested in prospective postdocs with interests in the following two areas:

  • reconstructing Early Mars climate using quantitative landscape evolution modeling / geomorphology; people with a background in terrestrial landscape-evolution modeling are encouraged to apply.

  • Mars atmospheric modeling, for example running and analyzing MRAMS and LMD GCM models with the purpose of getting some predictive understanding of wind erosion patterns on modern and ancient Mars. This has implications for mountain formation and organic-matter preservation potential.

We offer a generous salary and excellent benefits; start date is flexible, but the range September 2015 - March 2016 is preferred. For more information about postdoctoral work, please email Edwin Kite (PI),

In your application, please include a statement of research interests, a CV, and the contact details of two or three referees.

Inquiries from prospective gradaute students are welcome at any time. Prospective graduate students should apply through the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Examples of possible projects are listed here, but other project ideas are welcome. Research will be directed towards understanding the processes that sustain habitable planets.
Areas of particular interest:
Early Mars - geologic proxies for paleoclimate (geology, stratigraphy, paleohydrology, geomorphology), climate modeling;
Rocky exoplanets;
Europa and Enceladus.

Planetary science research at the University of Chicago:

Abbot group (climate theory)
Bean group (exoplanet observations)
Campbell group (planetary interiors)
Ciesla group (formation and early evolution of planetary systems)
Dauphas group (origins/cosmochemistry)
Davis group (stardust)
Fabrycky group (orbital dynamics, planet formation and dynamical evolution)
Grossman group (cosmochemistry)
Konigl group (exoplanets)
Pierrehumbert group (physics of planetary climate).
Philipp Heck (meteoritics, Field Museum / U. Chicago).