NASA Logo Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology View the NASA Portal
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
JPL Science
JPL Science Division Home
Planetary Science Planetary Science
Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres (3222)
Planetary Geosciences (3223)
Small Bodies (3224)
Astrobiology and Ocean Worlds (3225)
Planetary Interiors and Geophysics (3226)
Laboratory Studies (3227)
Astrophysics & Space Sciences Astrophysics & Space Sciences
Earth Science Earth Science
Directorate Science Affiliates Directorate Science Affiliates
Open Postdoc Positions Open Postdoc Positions
Brochures Brochures
 Planetary Interiors and Geophysics (3226): People
Daniel  Nunes's Picture
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
818 393-5317
818 354-2494
Email Contact:

Daniel Nunes
SHARAD Investigation Scientist

  • Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University (2004)
  • M.A, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University (2000)
  • B.S., Astronomy, University of Kansas (1997)
  • B.S., Physics, University of Kansas (1997)

    Research Interests
    • Tectonic deformation and history of planetary lithospheres
    • Spectral analysis of gravity and topography to reveal planetary interior structures and lithospheric evolution
    • Radar sounding of planetary subsurfaces


    Mars 2020 Icon Mars 2020
    NASA's Mars 2020 mission will build upon many discoveries from the Curiosity Mars rover and the two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity by taking the next key steps in our understanding of Mars' potential as a habitat for past or present life.

    MRO - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Icon MRO - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
    NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched in 2005 and is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time.

    Professional Experience
    • Scientist - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2011-present)
      • Mars2020 Project as the Investigation Scientist for the Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Exploration (RIMFAX) instrument (2015 - Present)
      • Shallow Radar (SHARAD) Investigation Scientist
      • MRO Payload Operations Support Team (POST) member
    • Caltech Post-Doctoral Scholar - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2008-2010)
    • Post-Doctoral Fellow - Lunar and Planetary Institute (2004-2007)
    • Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant - Washington University (1998-2004)
    • Graduate Teaching Assistant - University of Kansas (1997-1998)
    • Summer Intern - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1997)

    Selected Awards
    • NASA Group Achievement Award MSL Relay Operations Team (2013)
    • NASA Group Achievement Award NGIS Development Team (2012)
    • NASA Group Achievement Award MRO SHARAD Science Team (2011)
    • NASA Group Achievement Award MRO Gravity Science Team (2011)
    • NASA's Carl Sagan Early Career Award (2007)
    • NASA's Planetary Geology & Geophysics Undergraduate Research Program (1997)
    • Wyman Storer Award for unselfish service to the Astronomy program at the University of Kansas (1997)
    • Institute of International Education Scholarship Award - National-scale (Brazil) competition for a scholarship at an American university (1991)

    Selected Publications
    1. C. J. Bierson, R. J. Phillips, I. B. Smith, S. E. Wood, N. E. Putzig, D. Nunes and S. Byrne, Stratigraphy and evolution of the buried CO2 deposit in the Martian south polar cap, Geophysical Research Letters, 43 4172-4179, 10.1002/2016GL068457, 2016.
    2. M. Restano, J. J. Plaut, B. A. Campbell, Y. Gim, D. Nunes, F. Bernardini, A. Egan, R. Seu, R. J. Phillips, Effects of the passage of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) observed by the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 4663-4669, 10.1002/2015GL064150, 2015.
    3. D. Thompson, R. O. Green, D. Keymeulen, Y. Mouradi, S. Lundeen, D. Nunes, R. Castano, S. Chien, Rapid spectral cloud screening onboard aircraft and spacecraft, Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 52, 6779-6792, 2014.
    4. R. J. Phillips et al. with D. C. Nunes, Massive CO2 deposits sequestered in the south polar layered deposits of Mars, Science, 332, 838-841, 2011.
    5. D. C. Nunes, S. E. Smrekar, B. Fisher, et al., SHARAD, pedestal craters, and the lost Martian layers - Initial Assessments, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, E04006 10.1029/2010JE003690, 2011.
    6. A. S. Konopliv, S. Asmar, W. M. Folkner, O. Karatekin, D. Nunes, S. Smrekar, C. F. Yoder, and M. Zuber, Mars high resolution gravity fields from MRO, Mars seasonal gravity, and other dynamical parameters, Icarus, 211, 401-428, 2011.
    7. D. C. Nunes, S. E. Smrekar, R. Seu, R. J. Phillips, A. Safaeinili, J. Holt, and the SHARAD Team, Examination of gully sites on Mars with the Shallow Radar, Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, E10004, doi:10.1029/2009JE003509, 2010.
    8. D. C. Nunes and R. J. Phillips, Effect of initial compensation state on the relaxation of crustal plateaus on Venus, Journal of Geophysical Research, E10002, 10.1029/2006JE2861, 2007.
    9. R. Seu et al. with D. Nunes, SHARAD sounding radar on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Journal of Geophysical Research, E05S05, 10.1029/2006JE002745, 2007.
    10. D. C. Nunes and R. J. Phillips, Radar Subsurface Mapping of the Polar Layered Deposits on Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, E06S21, 10.1029/2005JE002609, 2006.
    11. R. R. Ghent, R. J. Phillips, V. L. Hansen, and D. C. Nunes, Finite element modeling of short-wavelength contractional deformation on Venus: implications for the hotspot model for crustal plateau formation, Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, E11006, 10.1029/2005JE002522, 2005.
    12. D. C. Nunes, Worlds apart: Geophysical modeling of the evolution of crustal plateaus on Venus and the propagation of radar through the Martian polar layered terrains, PhD Thesis, Washington University in St. Louis, 2004.
    13. D. C. Nunes, R. J. Phillips, C. D. Brown, and A. J. Dombard, Relaxation of Compensated Topography and the Evolution of Crustal Plateaus on Venus, Journal of Geophysical Research, 109(E1), E01006, 10.1029/2003JE002119, 2004.

    Group Home Page
    People in this Group
    Group Projects

    JPL Privacy Statement Sitemap Contact Site Manager
    FIRST GOV NASA Home Page