Dr. Kerri Donaldson Hanna is a planetary geologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Central Florida (UCF). She received her BS in Space Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology in 1999, her MS in Geological Sciences at Brown University in 2010, and her PhD in Geological Sciences from Brown University in 2013. Dr. Donaldson Hanna was a postdoctoral researcher within the Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics sub-department at the University of Oxford before receiving a UK Space Agency Aurora Research Fellowship to continue her research at Oxford for an additional 3.5 years. While at Oxford, she held a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church College and was awarded the early career Winton Capital Geophysics Award from the Royal Astronomical Society.
Dr. Donaldson Hanna’s research focuses on understanding the formation and evolution of airless bodies like the Moon, Mercury, Mars’ moons, and asteroids. She pursues this research interest using several methods including: (1) obtaining telescopic observations of these objects, (2) analysing and interpreting telescopic observations and spacecraft observations of these objects, (3) making laboratory measurements of airless body analogues to compare with the remote sensing observations, and (4) developing space instrumentation for observing airless bodies. Dr. Donaldson Hanna is also interested in understanding the effects of particle size, porosity, albedo, and near surface conditions of airless bodies on their thermal infrared signature and how to best simulate these in the laboratory. She utilizes these areas of expertise to participate in NASA missions including as a Co-Investigator on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment and a Participating Scientist on OSIRIS-REx.