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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

Deputy Principal Investigator, InSight


  • B.S. in Geophysics/Math, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island (1984)
  • Ph.D., Geophysics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas (1990)

Professional Experience

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA (1992-present)
    • Deputy PI, InSight (2010 - Present)
    • Senior Research Scientist (2014 - Present)
    • Mars '05 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Dep. Proj. Sci. (2001 - 2011)
    • Deep Space 2 (Mars Microprobe) Proj. Sci (1995-2000)
  • National Academy of Science Decadal Survey Mid-Term Update Panel, 2017-2018
  • Venus Exploration Analysis Group Co-Chair (2009-2011)
  • Editor: Venus Evolution, ISSI, 2021; Venus III, U of A, 2020
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Dept. of Earth, Atmos., and Planet. Sci., MIT, (1990-1992)

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

  • JPL People Leadership: 'Scientific leadership, mentoring, public outreach on InSight', (2019)
  • Elected to International Academy of Astronautics, (2015)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, MSL Relay Operations Team (2013)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement in Science Award: Recent Volcanism on Venus (2011)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award MRO Gravity Science Team (2011)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Award: MRO Science Planning (2007)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Nominee (1996)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Magellan Science Group (1993)

Selected Publications

  1. 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, in press, 2021.
  2. 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.
  3. Banerdt, W.B. & S.E. Smrekar (co-1st authors), and 40 other authors, Early Results from the InSight Mission, Nature Geosci. 13, 183–189, DOI: 10.1038/s41561-020-0544-y, 2020.
  4. Mueller, N. T., S. E. Smrekar, C.C. Tsang, Multispectral surface emissivity from VIRTIS on Venus Express, Icarus, 335, 113400, doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113400, 2020.
  5. Ojha, L., S. Karimi, , K.W. Lewis, K.W., S.E. Smrekar, and M. Siegler, Depletion of heat producing elements in the Martian mantle, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1029/2019GL085234, 2019.
  6. 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.
  7. Dyar, M. D., S.E. Smrekar, and S. R. Kane, The exoplanet next door: How Visiting Venus Will Help Us Find Life on Distant Planets, Scientific American, 320, v2, 2019.
  8. Plesa, A.-C., S. Padovan, N. Tosi, D. Breuer, M. Grott, M.A. Wieczorek, T. Spohn, S.E. Smrekar and W.B. Banerdt, The Thermal State and Interior Structure of Mars, Geophys. Res. Lett., 45, 22, p. 12198-12209, DOI: 10.1029/2018GL080728, 2019.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Siegler, M., and S.E. Smrekar, Reinterpreting Apollo lunar heat flow using new constraints, DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004453, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 119, 47–63, 2014.
  13. Diniega, S., S.E. Smrekar, S.W. Anderson, and E.R. Stofan, The influence of temperature-dependent viscosity on lava flow dynamics, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 118, 1516-1532, 10.1002/jgrf.20111, 2013.
  14. Smrekar, S.E. and Sotin, C., Constraints on mantle plumes on Venus: Implications for volcanism and volatile history, Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.09.011, 2012
  15. Smrekar, S.E., E.R. Stofan, N. Mueller, A. Treiman, L. Elkins-Tanton, J. Helbert, G. Piccioni, and P. Drossart, Recent Hotspot Volcanism on Venus from VIRTIS emissivity data, Science, 328, p. 605-608, 2010.
  16. Smrekar, S.E., T. Hoogenboom, E.R. Stofan, and P. Martin, Gravity analysis of Parga and Hecate Chasmata: Implications for rift and coronae formation, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 115, E07010, doi:10.1029/2009JE003435, 2010.
  17. Smrekar, S.E., L. Elkins-Tanton, J. Leitner, A. Lenardic, S. Mackwell, L. Moresi, C. Sotin, and E.R. Stofan, Tectonic and thermal evolution of Venus and the role of volatiles: Implications for understanding the terrestrial planets, in Exploring Venus as a Terrestrial Planet, eds. L.W. Esposito, E.R. Stofan, and T.E. Cravens, Geophys. Mono. 176, Am. Geophys. Un, Washington D.C, pp.43-72, 2007.
  18. Elkins-Tanton, L.T., S.E. Smrekar, P.C. Hess, and E.M. Parmentier, Volcanism and volatile recycling on a one-plate planet: Applications to Venus, J. Geophys. Res., 112, E04S06, doi:10.1029/2006JE002793, 2007.
  19. Smrekar, S.E. and E.R. Stofan, Venus Surface and Interior, In Encyclopedia of the Solar System, eds. L.A. McFadden, P. Weissman, and T. Johnson, Academic Press/Elsevier, 2006.
  20. Anderson, F. S. and S.E. Smrekar, Global mapping of crustal and lithospheric thickness on Venus, J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 111, E8, E08006, doi: 10.1029/2004JE002395, 2006.