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Michael Bramble

Photo of Michael Bramble

Address:

4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-301

Pasadena, CA 91109

Phone:

626.298.2075

Curriculum Vitae:

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Website:

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Member of:

Astrobiology and Ocean Worlds

Biography

Dr. Michael Bramble is a planetary scientist who works at the nexus of laboratory experimentation and spacecraft remote sensing. He is a mineralogist and geochemist who investigates how the extreme environmental conditions on various planetary surfaces alter the types of compositional information measured by planetary spacecraft. These extreme environments are replicated in the laboratory and include mimicking the vacuum of space, the coldness of an airless body, and the high radiation present at the surface of Europa. He then uses these well-controlled laboratory experiments to probe planetary spacecraft data to derive an accurate interpretation of the composition of a planetary surface.

These research topics intersect with the Astrobiology and Oceans Worlds Group at JPL where Mike applies laboratory experiments to understand how extreme environmental conditions on ocean worlds such as Europa will affect compositional data collected by planetary spacecraft. Understanding these will advance our ability to interpret possible biosignatures measured and will aid in the search for life in the solar system. In addition to laboratory experiments, Mike also applies remote sensing techniques to planetary bodies including Europa, Enceladus, and Ceres to seek a rigorous compositional understanding of these objects. This will provide the framework to ask questions about the origin of life and the presence of currently habitable niches.

Mike is also interested in the development of spacecraft instruments and the development of quantitative analytical techniques in the geological sciences. In addition to ocean worlds, he has previously performed research on Mars, asteroids, meteorites, terrestrial planetary analogs, the Moon, and Phobos and Deimos. Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.

Education

  • PhD, Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA (2020)
  • MSc, Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA (2016)
  • BSc, Honors Specialization in Planetary Science, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada (2014)
  • BMus, Theory and Composition (Hons), Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada (2010)

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (2020 - Present)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University (2020)
  • Graduate Student Research Assistant, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University (2014 - 2019)

Community Service

  • Dissertation Fellowship, Brown University, 2018,
  • Postgraduate Scholarship–Doctoral, NSERC, 2016
  • First Year Graduate Fellowship, Brown University, 2014
  • Donald R. Hay Prize, Western University, 2014
  • Undergraduate Student Research Award, NSERC, 2013, 2014
  • Advanced Materials and Biomaterials Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Award, CAMBR, 2012

Research Interests

  • Investigating mineral spectral alterations from cold, irradiated, and vacuum conditions to aid in deriving physical and chemical properties of ocean worlds
  • Advancing visible and infrared spectroscopy for quantitative analysis of physical and chemical properties of airless planetary surfaces
  • Using remote sensing to characterize the mineralogy, geological history, and surface processes observed on planetary surfaces
  • Development of quantitative analytical techniques and instrumentation in the geological sciences

Selected Awards

  • Dissertation Fellowship, Brown University, 2018,
  • Postgraduate Scholarship–Doctoral, NSERC, 2016
  • First Year Graduate Fellowship, Brown University, 2014
  • Donald R. Hay Prize, Western University, 2014
  • Undergraduate Student Research Award, NSERC, 2013, 2014
  • Advanced Materials and Biomaterials Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Award, CAMBR, 2012

Selected Publications

  1. M. S. Bramble, Y. Yang, W. R. Patterson III, R. E. Milliken, J. F. Mustard, and K. L. Donaldson Hanna. 2019. Radiometric Calibration of Thermal Infrared Data from the Asteroid and Lunar Environment Chamber (ALEC). Review of Scientific Instruments 90, 093101. doi:10.1063/1.5096363
  2. J. D. Tarnas, J. F. Mustard, H. Lin, T. A. Goudge. E. S. Amador-French, M. S. Bramble, C. H. Kremer, X. Zhang, Y. Itoh, M. Parente. 2019. Constraining the origin of hydrated silica in Jezero crater, Mars. Geophysical Research Letters 46, 12771–12782. doi:10.1029/2019GL085584
  3. C. H. Kremer, J. F. Mustard, and M. S. Bramble. 2019. A widespread ultramafic ash on Mars. Geology 47, 677–681. doi:10.1130/G45563.1
  4. M. S. Bramble, T. A. Goudge, R. E. Milliken, and J. F. Mustard. 2019. Testing the Deltaic Origin of Fan Deposits at BradburyCrater, Mars. Icarus 319, 363–366. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2018.09.024
  5. J. D. Tarnas, J. F. Mustard, B. Sherwood Lollar, M. S. Bramble, K. M. Cannon, A. M. Palumbo, and A.-C. Plesa. 2018. Radiolytic H2 Production on Noachian Mars: Implications for Habitability. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 502, 133–145. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.09.001
  6. M. R. Salvatore, T. A. Goudge, M. S. Bramble, C. S. Edwards, J. L. Bandfield, E. S. Amador, J. F. Mustard, and P. R. Christensen. 2018. Bulk mineralogy of the NE Syrtis and Jezero crater regions of Mars derived through thermal infrared spectral analyses. Icarus 301, 76–96. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.019
  7. M. S. Bramble, J. F. Mustard, and M. R. Salvatore. 2017. The Geological History of Northeast Syrtis Major, Mars. Icarus 293, 66–93. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.03.030
  8. M. S. Bramble, R. L. Flemming, and P. J. A. McCausland. 2015. Grain size measurement from two-dimensional micro-X-ray diffraction: Laboratory application of a radial integration technique. American Mineralogist 100, 1899–1911. doi:10.2138/am-2015-5181
  9. M. S. Bramble, R. L. Flemming, J. L. Hutter, M. M. Battler, G. R. Osinski, and N. R. Banerjee. 2014. A temperature-controlled sample stage for in situ micro-X-ray diffraction: Application to Mars analog mirabilite-bearing perennial cold spring precipitate mineralogy. American Mineralogist 99, 943–947. doi:10.2138/am.2014.4629