Skip Navigation

Anna Gulcher

Photo of Anna Gulcher


4800 Oak Grove Drive

M/S 183-301

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

Click here


Click here

Member of:

Planetary Interiors and Geophysics


Dr. Anna Gülcher is a computational Earth and planetary scientist interested in the physical requirement for a habitable planet. Her research focuses on – but is not restricted to – the interior and tectonic processes that shape rocky planets. Anna strives to put observations from geophysics, space, geology, and geo/cosmo-chemistry in a physics-based framework using state-of-the-art numerical modelling techniques. She is experienced in numerical modelling of both global-scale mantle convection and regional-scale tectonic/volcanic settings of Earth and Venus.

Anna’s current research focusses on the dynamic processes responsible for tectonic and volcanic structures on the surface of Venus. Our neighboring planet Venus presents a clear contrast of tectonics with the Earth, despite similar interior structure and composition. A better understanding of the dynamic interior processes at play, and how they link to the planet’s surface, is key for our understanding of the geological evolution of rocky planets (such as Earth), and even their habitability. Anna designs her research to aid the preparation of several space science missions to Venus (i.e., NASA’s VERITAS and DAVINCI+, and ESA/NASA’s EnVision) and intends to play a central role in interpretating the new datasets obtained by these missions.

Anna is further passionate about project and team management, science communication, and diversity. She has a track record of organizational skills and professional outreach. She previously served several roles in the Geodynamics Division of the European Geosciences Union and is currently serving a three-year term on NASA’s Venus Exploration and Analysis Group Steering Committee. Anna is committed to foster a more open, diverse, and inclusive community for scientists and ultimately hopes to be a role model for fellow (female) peers.


  • Ph.D. Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2022)
  • M.Sc. Earth and Planetary Sciences (major: Geophysics), ETH Zürich, Switzerland. (2018) Cum Laude / with Distinction
  • B.Sc. Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. (2016) Cum Laude

Professional Experience

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, US (2023 – present)
  • VERITAS mission (NASA) scientific collaborator (2023 – present)
  • EnVision mission (ESA/NASA) scientific collaborator (2022-present)
  • PhD researcher and teaching assistant, ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2018-2022)
  • Consultant to the Board of Education, Utrecht University, the Netherlands (2015-2016)
  • Teaching assistant and lecturer, Utrecht University, the Netherlands (2014-2016)
  • Outdoor instructor and coordinator, the Netherlands; Italy (2011-2016)

Community Service

Dr. Anna Gülcher is actively involved in scientific outreach and professional committees. She enjoys communicating space and Earth sciences to different target groups and leading teams to the successful completions of projects. She has been accommodating scientific discussions and networking opportunities in the form of conference session chairing and workshop organization. Anna focusses on the scientific content, transferrable skills, a diverse representation of the speakers, and fostering an open, inviting environment for fellow scientists. Some examples of her current and past outreach activities and other professional roles are listed below:

  • Steering Committee member of NASA’s Venus Analysis and Exploration Group (VExAG) (present-2026)
  • Expert reviewer of scientific papers and grant proposals, e.g., EPSL, GRL, JGR, NSF, NASA AMES (2020-present)
  • Conference organization and session chair/convenor, e.g., EGU, LPSC, AGU, EPSC, and Goldschmidt (2020-present)
  • Early Career Scientist Representative in the Geodynamics Division, European Geoscience Union (2020-2022)
  • Blog writer and editor, Geodynamics Division, European Geoscience Union (2019-2022)
  • Scientific outreach and social media manager, Geodynamics Division, European Geoscience Union (2019-2022)
  • President of the Utrecht Women’s Geological Society, Utrecht University, the Netherlands (2015-2016)

Research Interests

  • Habitability of rocky (exo)planets
  • Numerical modelling and scientific software
  • Mantle convection and tectonics
  • Planetary volcanism and atmospheric evolution
  • Planetary science missions
  • Science communication, education, and outreach

Selected Awards

  • SNF Postdoc Mobility fellowship awardee, Swiss National Science Foundation (2023-2025)
  • Outstanding Student Poster presentation Award (OSPP), European Geoscience Union (2019)
  • ETH MSc thesis medal, ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2018)
  • Master Scholarship Award, ETH Zürich, Switzerland (2016)
  • Molengraaff Fonds, TU Delft, the Netherlands (2016)