Joshua Emery, assistant professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, has recently achieved several notable research successes in the field of planetary geology, both through his own research and through effective mentorship. Emery is lead-author on a substantial article describing the target of an up-coming NASA mission to an asteroid. As a team member, he is also playing a key role in preparing for that mission, due to launch in 2016.
He is co-author, along with his postdoctoral research assistant and one of his graduate students, of the recent discovery about an asteroid held together by microscopic forces instead of gravity. This discovery, published in the highly-rated journal Nature, not only changes our understanding of asteroids but provides critical information for efforts to protect Earth from asteroidal impacts.
Emery has also mentored 3 of his graduate students to success in earning NASA graduate student fellowships, through which these students, too, will continue to advance planetary research of asteroids.