Cosmochemist

Kelly Miller, PhD

Research


My diverse research interests center around CHNOPS chemistry in the solar system, including the origins and incorporation of these bio-essential elements into planetary bodies, their subsequent evolution, and their implications for habitability of planetary environments. 

 

Geochemical and Cosmochemical Modeling

I use thermodynamic analyses and chemical mixing models to investigate the evolution of chemical systems due to environmental parameters such as temperature, redox conditions, and pressure.


Mass Spectrometry Data Analysis

I am the calibration liaison for the Europa Clipper MASPEX Science Team; my role includes planning and coordination of calibration activities on the MASPEX Flight Model prior to instrument delivery. I was a science team member and data analyst for the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (2017-2019), and have experience with data processing, including application of calibration and removal of instrumental effects. I also do spectral deconvolution and modeling of adsorption effects.


In Situ Measurements and Mission Formulation

I am involved in mission concept formulation and development of instrumentation for future mission applications. Current projects include development towards a future Europa Lander, as well as study of a return to Ceres.


Experimental Simulation of Icy Satellite Interiors

I am working with Dr. Dionysis Foustoukos, Dr. George Cody, and Dr. Conel Alexander to experimentally investigate volatilization of complex chondritic organics under conditions relevant to the interiors of icy satellites.


Meteorite Sample Analysis

I study the mineralogy and petrology of chondritic meteorite samples to understand the pre-accretionary and post-accretionary environments that they record, especially with regards to volatile oxygen and sulfur chemistry. I have experience with electron microprobe analysis, laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) of oxygen isotopes.