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Daniel Nunes

Photo of Daniel Nunes


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109


818 393-5317


818 354-2494

Member of:

Planetary Interiors and Geophysics

VERITAS Deputy Project 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)

Professional Experience

  • Research Scientist - Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2011-present)
  • Deputy Project Scientist, VERITAS Mission to Venus (2021 – present)
  • Investigation Scientist and Co-I, Mars 2020 Project – RIMFAX instrument (2015 - Present)
  • Investigation Scientist and Co-I, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project – SHARAD Instrument (2011-present)
  • MRO Payload Operations Support Team, Cycle-Coordinator (2011-2019)
  • Development and Flight Teams, AVIRIS-NG (2011-2014)
  • 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)

Research Interests

  • Tectonic deformation and history of planetary lithospheres
  • Spectral analysis of gravity and topography to reveal planetary interior structures and lithospheric evolution
  • Geophysical Electromagnetic methods for the characterization of planetary subsurfaces

Selected Awards

  • NASA Group Achievement Award Comet Siding-Springs Observation Campaign (2015)
  • 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)

Selected Publications

  1. S. E. Smrekar et al. w/ D. Nunes, Habitability, geodynamics, and the case for Venus, Bull. American Astron Soc. 53(4), 10.3847/25c2cfeb.93ec4fee, 2021
  2. B. A. Campbell, G. A. Morgan, F. Bernardini, N. Putzig, D. C. Nunes and J. J. Plaut, Calibration of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Shallow Radar (SHARAD) Data for Subsurface Probing and Surface Reflectivity Studies, Icarus 360(1), 10.1016/j.icarus.2021.114358, 2021
  3. K. A. Farley et al. w/ D. Nunes, Mars 2020 Mission Overview, Space Sci. Rev., 216, 142, 10.1007/s11214-020-00762-y, 2020
  4. K. M. Stack et al. w/ D. Nunes, Photogeologic Map of the Perseverance Rover Field Site in Jezero Crater Constructed by the Mars 2020 Science Team, Space Sci. Rev. 216, 127, 10.1007/s11214-020-00739-x, 2020
  5. S. E. Hamran, Paige, D.A., et al. w/ D. C. Nunes et al. Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment—RIMFAX, Space Sci. Rev. 216, 128, 10.1007/s11214-020-00740-4, 2020
  6. S. Hensley, D. Nunes, K. Mitchell and K. Cotton, Magellan Stereo Revisted, IGARSS 2019 - 2019 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, 6023-6026, 10.1109/IGARSS.2019.8900239, 2019
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. R. Seu et al. with D. Nunes, SHARAD sounding radar on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Journal of Geophysical Research, E05S05, 10.1029/2006JE002745, 2007.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.