EPEC Profiles – Jessica Hogan

EPEC Profiles – Jessica Hogan

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

Jessica Hogan is a PhD student in Astrobiology at The Open University, UK.

Just one month away from beginning her first year as a PhD student in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences – we reflect on key experiences in her career to – date.

Jessie graduated with a B.Sc. in Planetary Science with Astronomy from Birkbeck, University of London in 2021. Her interest in Astrobiology influenced a final dissertation on the habitable zone modelling of exoplanets.

Following her studies, she was supported by a Europlanet grant to present this thesis at EPSC 2022 in Granada, alongside other early-career researchers.

The turning point came upon securing an internship in the Operations Development Division with the European Space Agency (ESA) in Madrid, Spain. Here is where she studied the icy surface of Enceladus (one of Saturn’s Moons), by analysing Cassini Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) data and modelling photometric parameters. Investigating this potentially habitable environment can further knowledge of active surface processes that may take place on icy worlds in our Solar System – in preparation for interpreting ESA’s JUICE mission findings.

Inspired by the astrobiological significance of Enceladus and other icy bodies, she is continuing to build on her existing research with her current PhD in this field.

Maintaining a personal interest in improving youth access to education, she has previously volunteered with Unibuddy to support prospective students in adjusting to the challenges that accompany higher education. Jessie was also an Ambassador for Birkbeck, where she hosted pop-up stands in colleges throughout London to share her journey as a woman in STEM.

“EPEC has been key in getting me where I am today – supporting myself and other early-careers in navigating our first conference experience, and facilitating vital collaborations between researchers in different fields. It’s an invaluable network to be a part of. Having gained knowledge and connections with other planetary scientists, my journey with EPEC has come full-circle as I contribute back via the EPEC Communications Working Group, who continue to organise all-important events and outreach activities.”

JESSICA HOGAN

More information about Jessica Hogan:

Contact: jessica.hogan@open.ac.uk

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jhog

Jessica Hogan. Image credit: J. Hogan.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

EPEC Profiles – Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles

EPEC Profiles – Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

Victor is a PhD candidate in Astrobiology at the University of Bologna, IT.

I am currently in the last year of my PhD at the University of Bologna (IT), with a period abroad at The Natural History Museum of London (UK). My focus is to study the preservation of biosignatures in carbonate rocks from extreme modern terrestrial environments as analogues to lacustrine paleoenvironments of the Jezero crater on Mars. I am also a member of the Astrobiology and Geobiology Research Group at Unibo, and early this year I became part of the EPEC communications working group.

Over the years I have been pursuing what became a dream in my childhood. From the age of 7 to 17 I used to be a boy scout, so I grow up in touch with nature through camping, trekking, and hiking. Looking at the bright sky at night in the mountains was something that always fascinated me, and that is why I thought to be an astronomer first, to discover the wonders of the universe. Only after reading the book “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by French author Jules Verne, I realized that I needed to understand the planet where I live before exploring other worlds. In the outdoor activities as a boy scout, I used to look at the landscapes, mountains, and waterfalls and wonder how it all came about. Then, my journey in Geology started in 2014, when I was admitted to the faculty of Geology at the Federal University of Parana, in Brazil.

Coincidentally, my first contact with Astrobiology happened in the first week of my undergraduate classes when I attended a lecture on Geomicrobiology by who would become my future advisor. In that presentation, I discovered what stromatolites were and how they could be used to study ancient life on Earth, as well as their importance to the search for extraterrestrial life. That beat me in a way that was completely fascinating! It seems rash and naive to say that at that moment I was sure of my destiny, but I knew that was it. So, I survived the five years of my undergraduate degree plus two and a half years of Master’s in Geology, in which I had the opportunity to build a strong background in scientific research, learn different analytical techniques, gain experience in the laboratory, and participate in several scientific events. Finally, in my PhD I could confirm what I was sure about in 2014 in that first week of Geology undergrad, that I was going to work with Astrobiology.

Now as an adult man and geoscientist, I always try to bring the doubts of that little boy scout into my works as fuel for deciphering the Earth, and how life has evolved here, possibly on Mars and beyond!

The Europlanet Science Congress 2022 was my first contact with EPEC and it was fundamental for me to open my mind and be sure of the work I want to develop. I left the event extremely excited and energized after meeting a lot of people in my field and seeing a lot of great work in Planetary Sciences being done around the world.

VICTOR AMIR CARDOSO DORNELES

More information about Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles:

Contact: victoramir.cardoso2@unibo.it

Website: https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/victoramir.cardoso2

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victor-Dorneles

Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles. Image credit: G. Ruviaro.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

EPEC Profiles – João Dias

EPEC Profiles – João Dias

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

João Dias is a Ph.D. student in Astronomy at the University of Lisboa, PT

Hello, I am currently starting my first year of the PhD in Astronomy at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, in Lisbon, where I also did the Master in Astrophysics and Cosmology (2022). I will be studying minor chemical species abundances on Venus and Mars. Namely, I will be mapping water and methane abundances on Mars and sulphur dioxide, water and other associated compounds on Venus, using both ground-based observations and space-based observations from Mars Express and ExoMars. I will be using high-resolution spectroscopy observations and some radiative transfer codes.

I am currently included in the team of the ARIEL space mission, in the WG regarding the synergy between the Solar System and the exoplanets, and also in the EnVision future mission to Venus.
I had the opportunity this year to participate in my first in-person conference, the EPSC 2022 in Granada, which was amazing to improve networking and discuss the recent results on Planetary Science. I recently published my first work in the journal Atmosphere.

Moreover, besides research, I have contributed individually and collectively to several Science Communication activities in Portugal, such as astronomical observations, workshops, lectures in public schools and DarkSky Astronomy festivals. I am part of an Astronomy student group in Lisbon (Viver Astronomia), of about 50 people, that helps in the development of the aforementioned activities.
In my still young experience as a researcher in Planetary Sciences, I learned the importance of communication, discussion and teamwork in science.

As a next step in my career, I look forward to expanding my contribution to the community by joining the EPEC team, namely the Communication WG.

I had my first contact with EPEC in the Annual Week event of this year (2022). It was an excellent opportunity to network with amazing people in my area of research, discover the several funding opportunities that exist and the amazing projects that EPEC is doing and developing. At the Annual Week, the Communication WG caught my attention and now that I am starting my PhD, I think it is the right time to give a contribution to this group.

JOÃO DIAS

More information about João Dias:

Contact: jadias@fc.ul.pt

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo%C3%A3o-dias-274026199

João Dias. Image credit: João Dias.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

EPEC Profiles – Giacomo Nodjoumi

EPEC Profiles Giacomo Nodjoumi

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

Giacomo Nodjoumi is a Ph.D. student in Planetary Geology at Constructor University Bremen, DE

Giacomo Nodjoumi is from Italy, where he obtained degrees in Geology and Engineering Geology. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. at Constructor University Bremen. His unique blend of interests in informatics and geology has led him to describe himself as an atypical geologist.

His Ph.D. project consists of landforms detection and mapping through Deep Learning Computer Vision on Mars and the Moon within the Europlanet RI 2024. His primary targets of interest are pits and skylights, peculiar surface morphologies that might grant access to cavities! To investigate further the presence of these cavities, he is also looking at the subsurface of Mars using orbital radar MARSIS and SHARAD data. He is also co-leading the development of newer scientific data applications for lunar exploration, L-EXPLO, and L-HEX, within the EXPLORE project (https://explore-platform.eu/space-browser).

During EPSC 2022, Giacomo and his colleagues launched the 1st EXPLORE Lunar Data Challenges. Two competitions about Lunar exploration and data exploitation. The former focused on Machine Learning to involve researchers and professionals of planetary and computer sciences in mapping landforms on a region of the Moon. The latter is a didactical challenge, to involve classrooms and increase their knowledge about the Moon and how Machine Learning could improve our understanding of the Moon (https://exploredatachallenges.space/).

In 2022, Giacomo participated in the Analog-1 experiment on Mount Etna (Italy), during which the European Space Agency (ESA) conducted tests and field operations with the Interact rover.

I heard about EPEC at the beginning of my Ph.D. but I have realized why EPEC is undoubtedly a great opportunity for early career scientists only during in-person EPSC 2022.

GIACOMO NODJOUMI

Giacomo Nodjoumi. Image credit: Giacomo Nodjoumi.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.