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Suzanne Smrekar

Photo of Suzanne Smrekar


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-501

Pasadena, CA 91109





Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Planetary Interiors and Geophysics

Principal Investigator, VERITAS


  • B.S. Geophysics/Math, Brown University, Providence, RI, 1984
  • Ph.D. Geophysics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 1990

Professional Experience

  • PI, VERITAS Mission, 6/2021-present.
  • Deputy PI, InSight Mission, 2012-present.
  • Deputy PI, Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3), InSight, 2012-present.
  • Senior Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, 2013-present
  • Mars ’05 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Deputy Project Scientist, 2001-2012.
  • Venus Express, Participating Scientist co-I w/Bob Carlson, 2005-2014.
  • New Millennium, Deep Space 2, Mars Microprobe Project Scientist, JPL, 1995-2000.
  • Co-I, Champollion Physical Properties Probe, 1995-1999.
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Dept. of Earth, Atmos., and Planet. Sci., MIT, 1990-1992.

Selected Professional Activities

  • National Academy of Science Decadal Survey Mid-Term Update Panel, 2017-2018.
  • JPL Senior Research Science Council, Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Subcommittee, 2018-2021.
  • Editorships:
  • Venus: Evolution through time, Intern. Space Science Inst., co-editor, 2022.
  • Venus III book co-editor, 2020.
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 1997-2001.
  • Icarus Special Issue Guest Editor: Advances in Venus Science, 2010.
  • NASA Venus Exploration and Analysis Group Co-chair, 2009-2011, various committees: 2012-2019
  • NASA International Lunar Network Science Definition Team, 2008.
  • Postdoctoral Advisor: Mary Urquhart, Scott Anderson, Trudi Hoogenboom, Alice Guest, Daniel Nunes, Serina Diniega, Matthew Siegler, Leah Sabbath, Joseph Schools
  • Secretary for the Planetology Section of the American Geophysical Union, 1994-1996

Research Interests

  • Modeling of mantle upwelling and tectonic processes to understand the different evolutionary paths of Venus, Mars, and Earth, using numerical and analytic models of deformation
  • Analysis of gravity and topography, data to constrain the thermal evolution and history of the lithosphere using spatial and spectral methods as well as joint inversions.
  • Development of instruments to measure thermal properties and heat flow on other planets.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal, 2020
  • Emmy Award Team: ‘Outstanding Original Interactive Program’ for InSight Landing, 2019
  • Elected to International Academy of Astronautics, 2015
  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, Recent Volcanism on Venus, 2012.
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Science Planning, 2007.
  • NASA Group Achievement Award: Magellan Science Group, 1993; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project: Development Team and Flight Development Team, 2006, MSL Relay Operations Team, 2013; InSight Science Operations and Enhancement Team, 2020

Selected Publications

  1. Cascioli, G., F. De Marchi, P. Racioppa, D. Durante, L. Iess, S. Hensley, E. Mazarico, S. Smrekar, The determination of the rotational state and interior structure of Venus with VERITAS, Planetary Science J., doi:10.3847/PSJ/ac26c0, 2021.
  2. Borrelli, M.E., J. G. O’Rourke, S.E. Smrekar, and C.M. Ostberg, A global survey of lithospheric flexure at steep-sided domical volcanoes on Venus reveals intermediate elastic thicknesses, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 126, 7, doi: 10.1029/2020JE006756, 2021.
  3. Sharon K., M. P. Panning, S.E. Smrekar, S.C. Stahler, S.D. King, M.P. Golombek, M. Manga, B.R. Julian, B. Shiro, C. Perrin, J. A. Power, C. Michaut, S. Ceylan, D. Giardini, P. Lognonne, W. B. Banerdt, Analyzing Low Frequency Seismic Events at Cerberus Fossae as Long Period Volcanic Quakes, JGR-P, 126, e2020JE006518. https://, 2021.
  4. Dyar, M.D., J. Helbert, R.C. Cooper, E.C. Sklute, A. Marurilli, N.T. Mueller, D. Kappel, S.E. Smrekar, Surface weathering on Venus: Constraints from kinetic, spectroscopic, and geochemical data, Icarus, DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114139, 2021.
  5. Ojha, L; Karimi, S; Buffo, J; Nerozzi, S; Holt, JW; Smrekar, S; Chevrier, V., Martian Mantle Heat Flow Estimate From the Lack of Lithospheric Flexure in the South Pole of Mars: Implications for Planetary Evolution and Basal Melting, Geophys. Res. Lett., 48, doi: 10.1029/2020GL091409, 2021.
  6. Banerdt, W.B. & S.E. Smrekar (co-1st authors), and 40 other authors, Initial Results from the InSight Mission, Nature Geosci. 13, 183–189, DOI: 10.1038/s41561-020-0544-y, 2020.
  7. Smrekar, S. and 31 other authors, Pre-Mission insights on the interior of Mars, Space Sci. Rev. 215:3, doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0563-9, 2019
  8. Smrekar, S.E., A. Davaille, and C. Sotin, Venus interior structure and dynamics, Space Sci. Reviews, 214:88, doi: 10.1007/s11214-018-0518-1, 2018.
  9. Spohn, T., M. Grott, S. E. Smrekar and 18 other authors, The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) for the InSight Mission, Space Sci. Reviews, 214:96 doi:10.1007/s11214-018-0531-4, 2018.
  10. Helbert, J., D. Dyar, I. Walter, D. Wendler, T. Widemann, E. Marcq, G. Guignan, S. Ferrari, A. Maturilli, N. Mueller, D. Kappel, J. Jaenchen, M. D'Amore, A. Boerner, C.Tsang, G.E. Arnold, S. Smrekar, The Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM): obtaining global mineralogy of Venus from orbit, Proc. SPIE 10765, Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XXVI, 107650D; doi: 10.1117/12.2320112, 2018.
  11. O’Rourke, J.G. and S.E. Smrekar, Signatures of lithospheric flexure and elevated heat flow in stereo topography at coronae on Venus, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1002/2017JE005358, 2018.
  12. Gilmore, M., A. Treiman, J. Helbert, S. Smrekar, Venus surface composition constrained by observation and experiment, Space Sci. Rev., DOI 10.1007/s11214-017-0370-8, 2017.
  13. Davaille, A., S.E. Smrekar, S. Tomlinson, Experimental and Observational Evidences for Plume-Induced Subduction on Venus, Nature Geosciences, doi 10.1038/ngeo2928, 2017.
  14. Morgan, P., S. Smrekar, R. Lorenz, M. Grott, O. Kroemer, N. Mueller, Potential effects of surface temperature variations and disturbance and thermal convection, Space Science Reviews- InSight Special Issue, 211:5–95, DOI 10.1007/s11214-017-0388-y, 2017.
  15. Mueller, N.T., S. Smrekar, J. Helbert, E. Stofan, G. Piccioni, P. Drossart. Search for active lava flows with VIRTIS on Venus Express, J. Geophy. .Res. Planets, doi: 10.1002/2016JE005211, 2017.
  16. Siegler, M.A., Smrekar, S.E., Piqueux, S., Müller, N., Grott M. Three-Dimensional Thermal Modeling for the 2018 InSight Mission, Space Science Reviews- InSight Special Issue, doi:10.1007/s11214-017-0331-2, 2017.
  17. Stofan, E. R., S. E. Smrekar, N. Mueller, and J. Helbert, Themis Regio, Venus: Evidence for recent (?) volcanism from VIRTIS data, Icarus, 271, doi:10.1016/ j.icarus.2016.01.034, 2016.
  18. Smrekar, S.E., E. R. Stofan, and N. Mueller, Venus: Surface and Interior, in Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 3rd edition, eds. T. Spohn, D. Breuer and T.V. Johnson, Elsevier, 2015.
  19. Piskorz, D., Elkins-Tanton, L.T., and Smrekar, S.E. Coronae Formation on Venus via Extension and Lithospheric Instability, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 2568-2582, doi:10.1002/2014JE004636, 2014.