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Kirsten Siebach Martian Geologist


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 2020 rover Perseverance and 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 PhD 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 puzzles.


I am a planetary geologist and outreach enthusiast. I help operate the Mars rovers and study the rock record on Mars. I love travelling the world, taking pictures, and sharing my passion for science and exploration with others!

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