Divya M. Persaud

Divya M. Persaud (she/her) is a planetary geologist. As a postdoc under Dr. Cynthia Phillips, she is providing science support to the Europa Lander concept and is a member of the Europa Clipper Reconnaissance Focus Group. Her doctoral thesis centered on processing and visualizing 3D terrain data as virtual outcrops to investigate the exposed layers in Sakarya Vallis in Gale Crater, Mars. She has an interest in developing novel methods of applying remote sensing datasets to mission planning and science targeting for surface exploration.


Divya is also an active composer, poet, and speaker passionate about science communication and ethics in space exploration.

  • Ph.D., University College London, 2021 (expected)
  • B.A., Geology and Music, University of Rochester, 2017

Research Interests: 

Stereo photogrammetry for planetary surface science; digital outcrop analysis; image processing; GIS; crater relaxation on icy satellites.

Professional Experience: 
  • PanCam operations scientist, ExoFit simulations, 2018-2019
  • JPL Summer Intern, 2016
  • Research Associate, NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration, 2015
  • NSF REU in Astrobiology, SETI Institute, 2014
  • NSF REU in Physics, University of Rochester, 2013
  • Research assistant, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester, 2012-2016
  • Summer intern, Planetary Geodynamics, NASA Goddard 2012-2012

Selected Awards: 
  • Researcher-led Initiative Award, University College London, 2020
  • Elizabeth Puchnarewicz Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Outreach, University College London, 2018
  • High Honors in Research, University of Rochester, 2017

Selected Publications: 
  1. Xiong, S., Tao, Y., Persaud, D. M., Campbell, J. D., Putri, A.D.R., Muller, J.-P., 2020, Subsurface reflections detected by SHARAD data revealing buried channels and islands over the Elysium Planitia, Earth and Space Science. doi: 10.1029/2019EA000968
  2. Persaud, D. M., Tao, Y., and Muller, J.-P., Multi-Resolution, Nested Orbital 3D Images of Gale Crater for Fused MSL Rover-Orbital Image Simulations. European Planetary Science Congress, Geneva, Switzerland, 16-20 September 2019. Abstract #1540. Oral presentation.
Divya Persaud
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109