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 Astrobiology and Ocean Worlds (3225): People
Vlada  Stamenkovic's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-301
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Vlada Stamenkovic

Dr. Vlada Stamenković is an Earth & planetary scientist (PhD) and a theoretical physicist (MSc, BSc) who thrives across classic departmental borders and synergistically explores the past, modern, and future evolution of Earth, the rocky bodies in our solar system (with a big focus on Mars), and terrestrial exoplanets and their connection to the origins and evolution of life.

He specifically studies the fundamental geophysical principles behind mantle convection, plate tectonics, dynamo generation, and the formation and transport of volatiles through mantle and crust driven by volcanism and low temperature processes such as, e.g., serpentinization and radiolysis of water – and explores how such planetary processes co-evolve with a planet’s fluid envelope (groundwater, oceans, and atmosphere), its redox gradients, and microbial organisms.

Next to trying to understand theoretically how planets and life co-evolve, Vlada enjoys exploring geophysics-life connections in the underground of our own planet and enabling next generation missions to study the Mars subsurface in the quest for life and resources for a Human future on the Red Planet.

  • PhD in Earth & Planetary Sciences (Dr. rer. nat., summa cum laude), The University of Münster in cooperation with ESA & the DLR Institute of Planetary Research (2012)
  • Diploma in Physics (Dipl. Phys. ETH), ETH Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (2006)                 

Research Interests
  • Planet Interior Evolution & Geodynamics
  • Deep Life & Geobiology
  • Astrobiology of Solar System Worlds and Exoplanets
  • Mars Exploration & Subsurface Exploration
  • Habitability of Rocky Exoplanets

Professional Experience
  • Research Scientist, 01/2018 – now, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
    • PI for TH2OR Strategic R&TD (Liquid water sounder) – 10/2018-now.
    • Lead scientist for Mars Small Spacecraft Advanced Concepts Study – 02/2018-now.
    • Lead scientist for ASGARD Mars Deep Drill Advanced Concepts Study – 01/2018-now.
  • Research Staff Scientist, 09/2017-01/2018, California Institute of Technology
  • Simons Foundation’s Collaboration on the Origins of Life Fellow, 08/2015-09/2017, Postdoctoral Scholar in Geobiology, California Institute of Technology            
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-07/2015, MIT – Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences              
  • European Space Agency (ESA) Graduate Student Fellow, 2008-2012
  • Institute of Planetary Research @ the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC)
  • Visiting Scientist, 2007-2008, Institute of Planetary Research @ German Aerospace Center   
  • PI for space experiment Chondro II on Cervantes Mission to ISS, 2003-2006, tissue engineering/fluid mixing on the International Space Station to improve cartilage transplants and explore fluid dynamics and cellular matrix formation in microgravity.
  • PI for space experiment Chondro I on the Russian space satellite Foton M1, 2001-2002, tissue engineering/fluid mixing to improve cartilage transplants and explore fluid dynamics and cellular matrix formation in microgravity.
  • PI for microgravity experiment Lidia on student parabolic flight campaign, 2000-2001, fluid dynamics in test units for T-lymphocyte apoptosis studies in microgravity.

Community Service
  • Reviewer for Nature Geoscience, Nature Astronomy, Icarus, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, PEPI, G-Cubed amongst other journals.
  • Panelist in various NASA’s NESSF Geophysics and NASA XRP Panels.
  • Member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), and the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Selected Awards
  • Simons Foundation’s Collaboration on the Origin of Life Fellowship
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Advanced Researcher Fellowship
  • Swiss National Science Foundation Prospective Researcher Fellowship                          
  • Nobel Laureate Symposium Award by German Aerospace Center
  • European Space Agency & German Space Agency Doctoral Fellowship

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Stamenković, V., et al. The next frontier in planetary and human exploration, Nature Astronomy, 3, 2019.

Find on:

  1. Lewis, W., Stamenković, V., Mischna, M., Fischer, W., 2019. Follow the oxygen: comparative histories of planetary oxygenation and opportunities for aerobic Life. In press, Astrobiology.
  2. Stamenković, V., Lewis, W., Mischna, M., Fischer, W., 2018. O2 solubility in Martian near-surface brines and implications for aerobic life. Nature Geoscience, 11, 2018. Cover page of the Dec 2018 Edition.

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  1. Yung, Y., et al. (incl. Stamenković, V), 2018. Methane on Mars and Habitability: Challenges and Responses. Astrobiology, 18, Cover page, doi: 10.1089/ast.2018.1917.

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  1. De Wit, J., et al. (incl. Stamenković, V), 2018. Atmospheric reconnaissance of TRAPPIST-1’s Habitable Zone Exoplanets. Nature Astronomy, doi:10.1038/s41550-017-0374-z

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  1. Bourrier, V., de Wit, J., Bolmont, E., Stamenković, V., + 12 co-authors, 2017. Temporal Evolution of the High-energy Irradiation and Water Content of TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets. The Astronomical Journal, 154, 121-137.

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  1. Stamenković, V., Höink, T., Lenardic, T., 2016. The importance of temporal stress variation for the initiation of plate tectonics. JGR Planets, 121, 1–20.

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  1. Stamenković, V., Seager, S., 2016. Emerging possibilities and insuperable limitations of exogeodynamics: the example of plate tectonics. The Astrophysical Journal, 825, 78-95.

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  1. Demory, B., Gillon, M., de Wit, J., Madhusudhan, N., Bolmont, E., Heng, K., Kataria, T., Lewis, N., Hu, R., Krick, J., Stamenković, V., Benneke, B., Kane, S. Queloz, D., 2016. A map of the large day–night temperature gradient of a super-Earth exoplanet. Nature 532, 207-209.

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  1. Stamenković, V., Breuer, D., 2014. The tectonic mode of rocky planets, Part 1: driving factors, models & parameters. Icarus 234, 174-193.

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  1. Zsom, A., Seager, S., De Wit, J., Stamenković, V., 2013. Towards the minimum inner edge distance of the habitable zone. The Astrophysical Journal, 778, 109-126.

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  1. Stamenković, V., Noack, L., Breuer, D., Spohn, T., 2012. The influence of pressure-dependent viscosity on the thermal evolution of super-Earths. The Astrophysical Journal, 748, 41-63.

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  1. Stamenković, V., Breuer, D., Spohn, T., 2011. Thermal and transport properties of mantle rock at high pressure: applications to super-Earths. Icarus, 216, 572–596.

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  1. Stamenković, V., Keller, G., Nesic, D., Cogoli, A., Grogan, S.P., 2010. Neocartilage formation in 1 g, simulated, and microgravity environments: implications for tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering: part A, 16 (5), 1729-1736.

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 Peer-reviewed Book Contributions

  1. Stamenković, V., 2011, 2015. Serpentinization (Mars). In: Gargaud, M., et al., (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Part 19. Springer, 1505-1506. Find on:
  2. Stamenković, V., Frank, S., 2011, 2015. Rheology of planetary interiors. In: Gargaud, M., et al., (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Part 19. Springer, 1452-1455. Find on:

Technology Publications

  1. Stamenković, V., & Keller, G., 2003. CHONDRO, ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive.
  2. Keller, G., & Stamenković, V., 2002. Study of the process of cartilage structure formation in microgravity, ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive.
  3. Stamenković, V., Keller, G., Walser, S., Fuchsberger, G., 2001. LYMPHOSIG - LIDIA3 Hardware test and behavior of two fluids mixing for T-Lymphocyte investigation on MASER, ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive.

Selected Conference Proceedings

  1. Sohl, F., Noack, L., Stamenković, V., Breuer, D., Wagner, F.W., 2010. Thermal state of Earth-like exoplanets: Implications for CoRoT-7b. In: Eos Trans. AGU, 91 (26). The Meeting of the Americas, 8-12 Aug. 2010, Brazil.
  2. Stamenković, V., & Breuer, D., 2009. Hades: Habitability of the deep subsurface, In: Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, Springer.

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