Jamie Molaro, PhD
Planetary Scientist, Feminist, Artist, Nerd

I am a Postdoc Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. My current research focuses on rock breakdown due to diurnal thermal stresses induced at the surfaces of terrestrial bodies throughout the solar system. My work aims to quantify the contribution thermal breakdown processes make to the breakdown of rocks and craters, production of regolith, and modification of their surfaces over time. Thermal breakdown likely plays a significant role on bodies that have large diurnal temperature ranges, such as Mercury and Phaethon, the Mercury crossing asteroid that is the source of the geminid meteor shower. I'm also investigating the role it may play on surfaces that have a mixture of rock and ice, such as the martian polar cap, comets, and icy moons. I study these processes at a variety of scales, from micro- to macroscopic, working to build an in-depth understanding the role thermal forcing plays in surface evolution. I am also expanding this work to icy bodies, where similar processes may cause ice degredation and regolith generation on their surfaces.  In particular, I am focusing on characterizing active surface processes on Europa in support of the upcoming NASA missions. I'm also interested in understanding differences between the surface evolution of Earth and other bodies, such as by comparing fluvial erosion and drainage basin systems on Earth and Titan. I employ primarily numerical modeling techniques in my research, along with the occasional laboratory experiment and terrestrial field study.


Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-205
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109


jmolaro (at) jpl.nasa.gov


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