- About PSI
Dr. Cristina Thomas' research interests focus on the studies of small bodies, specifically asteroids. Her work includes spectral observations to characterize the spectral properties of asteroid surfaces and the insight they provide into the composition of these bodies. She also studies space weathering processes on the surfaces of the Solar System bodies, especially as applied to the spectral and compositional connections between asteroids and meteorites.
Dr. Thomas received her Ph.D. from MIT in 2009. While at MIT, she developed a statistical model to connect ordinary chondrite meteorites to their likely Main Belt source regions. As a postdoc at Northern Arizona University she worked on a spectroscopic observing campaign to complement the ExploreNEOs Warm Spitzer program. She also investigated spectral changes in the Koronis asteroid family that are indicative of space weathering. During her time as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA GSFC, she led the JWST focus group for near-Earth object observations, and joined the OSIRIS-REx science team as a collaborator studying the surface of Itokawa. She joined PSI in 2015.