Skip Navigation

Sophal Laurent Pou

Photo of Sophal Pou


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S: 183-301

Pasadena, CA 91109


(626) 319-9127


Click here


Click here

Curriculum Vitae:

Click here

Member of:

Planetary Interiors and Geophysics


Laurent Pou (full name: Sophal Laurent Pou) received a Master in Engineering and Space Science from ISAE-Supaero, Toulouse, France before completing a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Planetary and Space Sciences also at ISAE-Supaero. He then pursued his research in planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz for three years, and has started an NPP Postdoc at JPL on June 2022.

During his Ph.D., Laurent worked on the Mars InSight mission to use the seismometer SEIS as a gravimeter to detect the Phobos tides on Mars, and to model the gravity field and tidal stress of binary asteroid systems. He continued this work during his Postdoc at UCSC while also working on the orbital evolution of binary systems, and on the DART and Hera mission. Now, he studies the likelihood of deep tidal quakes on Europa and the possibility of detection by a potential surface seismometer at JPL. He is a InSight Science Team member, Co-Lead of the Data Processing Working Group of the InSight mission, and a core member of the Hera mission.


  • Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Planetary and Space Sciences at ISAE-Supaero, Toulouse, France (2016 – 2019)
  • Master in Engineering majoring in Space Sciences at ISAE-Supaero, Toulouse, France (2011 – 2015)

Professional Experience

  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States of America (2022 – Present)
  • Postdoctoral scholar at the University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, United States of America (2019 – 2022)
  • Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Planetary and Space Sciences at ISAE-Supaero, Toulouse, France (2016 – 2019)

Community Service

  • Outreach at St Francis High School, Monterey, CA, USA
  • Outreach in the Congrès Scientifique des Enfants (Children’s Scientific Conference) at Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse, France
  • Outreach for the arrival of InSight on Mars at Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse, France

Research Interests

  • Internal structure of solid bodies, tidal interactions, Martian system, asteroids.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Award

Selected Publications

  1. Pou L., Nimmo F., Rivoldini A., Plesa A., Khan A., Gray T., Bagheri A., Samuel H., Lognonné P., Gudkova T. (2022, in review) Tidal constraints on the Martian interior
  2. Pou L., Nimmo F., Mimoun D., Garcia R. F., Pinot B., Lognonné P., Rivoldini A., Banfield D., Banerdt W. B. (2021) Forward modeling of the Phobos tides and its applications, Earth and Space Science, 8, e2021EA001669.
  3. Murdoch N., Hempel S., Pou L., Cadu A., Garcia R. F., Mimoun D., Margerin L., Karatekin O. (2017) Probing the internal structure of the asteriod Didymoon with a passive seismic investigation. Planetary and Space Science 144:89–105,