Dr Graziella Caprarelli FAIG is a geoscientist with an extensive body of research on Earth and Mars. A graduate of Sapienza University, she held postdoctoral fellowships in Japan and the USA, before settling in Australia, teaching and researching at the University of Adelaide, University of Technology Sydney, and University of South Australia, for 25 years. In addition to being Adjunct Research Fellow with the Centre for Astrophysics, Graziella is Adjunct Research Professor with the International Research School of Planetary Sciences, and Adjunct Faculty Member with the International Space University.
Her service to the professional community includes her past appointments as Deputy Chair of the National Committee for Space Science (now the National Committee for Space and Radio Science), Chair of the NSW and SA Divisions of the Geological Society of Australia, President of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Alumni Association. She is current President of Women in Space, a chapter of the National Space Society of Australia. Graziella is probably best known for her contribution to the discovery of Martian lakes at the base of the south polar cap. She is the Winner of the Scientist of the Year Australian Space Awards 2021.
Dr Caprarelli is currently working on a number of projects related to the stability of water and ice on Mars. As a member of the science team for the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS), she uses the ground penetrating radar orbiting on the European Space Agency Mars Express orbiter, to probe the subsurface of Mars, searching for evidence of water and ice: this research has huge significance in relation to our understanding of the climate evolution of Mars, and for investigations on the possibility that life might exist off-Earth. In addition, she also acquires and analyses MARSIS data to reveal the structure of the Martian crust: this research is necessary to understand the geological history of Mars. Both lines of research provide important constraints for our models of the formation of the solar system and the evolution of terrestrial-type bodies. This has implications with regards to our exploration of extrasolar planetary systems, and the search for life in the universe.
- Earth and Mars Geoscience
- Planetary Science
- Space Missions