Kristen Siebach headshot

WEBSITE(S)| Siebach Lab | Google Scholar

Kirsten Siebach is an Assistant Professor in the Rice University Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences and calls herself a Martian Geologist. She researches "source-to-sink" sedimentary processes on Mars and early Earth to interpret the history of water and surface environments early in our solar system. She is currently a member of the Science and Operations Teams for the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity, and previously worked on the science and engineering teams for the Phoenix Lander and the two Mars Exploration Rovers.

Kirsten completed her Ph.D. in Geology at Caltech with Professor John Grotzinger with a dissertation titled “Formation and Diagenesis of Sedimentary Rocks in Gale Crater, Mars”, and then did postdoctoral research in geochemistry of Martian sediments with Professor Scott McLennan at Stony Brook University. Prior to Caltech, she attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she worked with Professor Ray Arvidson and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Earth & Planetary Science and Chemistry.

She is also actively engaged in promoting education and outreach related to Earth and Planetary science and regularly presents at schools and outreach events. Outside of professional interests, she loves travel and photography (on Earth as well as Mars), and enjoys swimming, hiking, and social dancing.

Research Areas

Mars, sedimentary petrology, diagenesis, sedimentology, remote sensing, planetary geology, geochemistry


B.A. Earth & Planetary Science and Chemistry (2011) Washington University, St. Louis

Ph.D. Geology (2016) California Institute of Technology

Postdoctoral Research Associate (2016-17) Stony Brook University

Honors & Awards

2015 NASA Group Achievement Award: MSL Prime Mission Science and Operations Team

2014 ExxonMobil/GSA Student Science Award

2013 & 2014 NASA Group Achievement Award: MER Science Development and Operations Team

2011 Washington University “Outstanding Graduate” recognition

2008 NASA Group Achievement Award: Phoenix Mission Team


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