Research Staff at the Arecibo Observatory

Dr. Anne Virkki, Planetary radar group lead at AO

Anne joined the Arecibo staff in April 2016 after receiving her Ph.D. in Astronomy in the University of Helsinki. In her doctoral thesis she worked on numerical modeling of radar scattering, progressing the theoretical foundation required for interpreting planetary radar observations. Her current research interests include radar observations and shape reconstruction. Anne became the acting group lead in April 2018 after Dr. Patrick Taylor moved to the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

Dr. Flaviane Venditti, Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Flaviane joined the Arecibo staff in May 2017 after working as a Postdoctoral Scientist at McGill University, in Montreal. She has a Bachelor's degree in Physics/Astronomy from the University of Sao Paulo. Master's and Ph.D in Space Engineering, with focus in Astrodynamics, from the National Institute for Space Research, in Brazil. Her research interests include radar observations, orbital dynamics, asteroid modeling, and asteroid deflection techniques.

Dr. Sean Marshall, Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Sean joined the Arecibo staff in November 2017. He has a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Cornell University and Bachelor's degrees in Physics and Astronomy (Earth and Space Exploration) from Arizona State University. His research focuses on combining radar and infrared observations of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) - using radar and lightcurve observations to find NEAs' sizes, shapes, and rotation states, and then using infrared observations to find their thermal properties.

Research Staff at the Lunar and Planetary Institute

Dr. Patrick A. Taylor, Planetary Radar Group Lead at LPI
Space Rock Blaster and Planet Defender

Patrick has a Ph.D. in Astronomy from Cornell University and Bachelor's degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland. He joined the Arecibo staff in 2009 and has over 10 years of experience with the Arecibo Planetary Radary System. His research interests include radar and thermal-infrared observations, shape reconstruction, and dynamics of small Solar System bodies, especially the formation and evolution of multiple-component systems.

Dr. Edgard G. Rivera-Valentin, Staff Planetary Scientist
AOSA Project Manager; University-Observatory Relations Coordinator

Ed has a Ph.D. in Space and Planetary Science from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor's degree in Physics and Mathematics from Alfred University. After 2 years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University, Ed returned to his native city of Arecibo Puerto Rico joining the staff in 2014. His research interests include surface planetary processes such as cratering and atmosphere regolith-interactions.

Dr. Sriram Bhiravarasu, Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Sriram joined the Arecibo staff in April 2017 after working 7 years as a researcher at Space Applications Centre (Indian Space Research Organization), Ahmedabad. He received a Ph.D. in Physics from Gujarat University, India where he conducted a range of radar-based research of the Moon utlizing the data obtained from Arecibo as well as lunar-orbital radar systems. His current research interests include development of new techniques for the analysis of hybrid-polarimetric SAR data, and study of polar volatiles on the Moon and radar dark parabolas on Venus.

Support Staff

Linda Ford Luisa Zambrano-Marin Betzaida Aponte
Project Specialist Project Specialist Observing Support


  1. Carolina Rodriguez Sanchez-Vahamonde, Data Analyst
  2. Michael C. Nolan, Staff Scientist, Head of Planetary Radar, and Site Director
  3. Ellen S. Howell, Staff Scientist
  4. Alessondra Springmann, Data Analyst
  5. John K. Harmon, Staff Scientist
  6. Alice A. Hine, Staff Scientist
  7. Jean-Luc Margot, Postdoctoral Researcher
  8. Donald B. Campbell, Staff Scientist and Site Director

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