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Research Areas
  • Asteroid
  • Radar
  • Shape modeling of asteroids

Sean Marshall

Sean Marshall joined the Arecibo staff in November 2017. He grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania and earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Cornell University and Bachelor degrees in Physics and Astronomy (Earth and Space Exploration) from Arizona State University.

Dr. Marshall's research includes finding asteroids' shapes and other physical properties using data from radar, lightcurve, and occultation observations. He also applies Bayesian optimization to asteroid modeling and finds asteroids' thermal properties from infrared data.

Sean Marshall's projects include asteroid radar observations (NASA grant to Arecibo), and shape modeling of asteroid 3200 Phaethon using radar, lightcurve, and occultation data. He also is working on applying Bayesian optimization to asteroid pole direction searches and on shape modeling of asteroid 85989 (1999 JD6) using radar and lightcurve data.

Dr. Marshall mentored Riley McGlasson and Daniel Repp while they worked on asteroid shape modeling projects as part of Arecibo's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Peer-reviewed publications


Lalla, E., Cote, K., Hickson, D., Garnitschnig, S., Konstantinidis, M., Such, P., Czakler, C., Schroder, C., Frigeri, A., Ercoli, M., Losiak, A., Gruber, S., and Groemer, G. (2020) Laboratory analysis of returned samples from the AMADEE-18 Mars analog mission. Astrobiology, 20(11), 1303-1320.

Hickson, D.C., Boivin, A.L., Tsai, C.-A., Daly, M.G., and Ghent, R.R. (2020) Modeling the Dielectric Properties of Minerals from Crystals to Bulk Powders for Improved Interpretation of Asteroid Radar Observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 125(7), 1-22.


Tsai, C., Ghent, R., Boivin, A., and Hickson, D. (2019) Discrimination of Dispersive Materials From Q* Radar Signals Using Q*. Ground Penetrating Radar, 2(1), 26-50.

Osinski, G.R., et. al (including Hickson, D.) (2019) The CanMars Mars Sample Return analogue mission. Planetary and Space Science, 166, 110-130.


Hickson, D., Boivin, A., Daly, M.G., Ghent R., Nolan, M.C., Tait, K., Cunje, A., and Tsai, C-A. (2018) Near surface bulk density estimates of NEAs from radar observations and permittivity measurements of powdered geologic material. Icarus, 306, 16-24.

Boivin, A., Hickson, D., Cunje, A., Tsai, C-A., Ghent, R.R., and Daly, M. (2018) Broadband Measurements of the Complex Permittivity of Planetary Regolith Analog Materials. Journal of Geophyisical Research: Planets, 123(12), 3088-3104.


Hickson, D., Sotodeh, S., Daly, M., Ghent, R., and Nolan, M.C. (2017) Improvements on effective permittivity measurements of powdered alumina: Implications for bulk permittivity properties of asteroid regoliths. Advances in Space Research, 59, 472-482.

Non Peer-reviewed publications


Virkki, A. K.; Venditti, F. C.; Marshall, S. E.; Hickson, D. C.; Zambrano Marin, L. F.; Taylor, P. A.; and Rivera-Valentin, E. G. (2020) Science highlights of the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar program. American Astronomical Society meeting #236, id. 129.01.

Arai, T.; Yoshida, F.; Hong, P.; Okamoto, N.; Noda, H.; Soma, M.; Watanabe, J.; Abe, S.; Sato, I.; Yamada, R.; Arimatsu, K.; Horaguchi, T.; Yamamoto, M. -Y.; Hayamizu, T.; Nishiyama, K.; Takashima, T.; Dunham, D. W.; Preston, S.; Marshall, S.; Buie, M. W.; and Destiny+ Occultation Team. (2020) Stellar Occultation Observations of Asteroid 3200 Phaethon for the DESTINY+ Flyby. 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, id. 2924.

Repp, D. W.; Marshall, S. E.; Virkki, A. K.; Venditti, F. C. F.; Zambrano-Marin, L. F.; Dover, L.; Ro?ek, A.; Lowry, S. C.; Bamberger, D.; Wells, G.; Naidu, S. P.; Benner, L. A. M.; Brozovi?, M.; Franco, E.; McGlasson, R. A.; and Presler-Marshall, B. (2020) Shape Modeling of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 2015 DP155 from Radar and Lightcurve Observations. 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, id. 2897.


Roshi, A.; Anderson, L. D.; Araya, E.; Balser, D.; Brisken, W.; Brum, C.; Campbell, D.; Chatterjee, S.; Churchwell, E.; Condon, J.; Cordes, J.; Cordova, F.; Fernandez, Y.; Gago, J.; Ghosh, T.; Goldsmith, P. F.; Heiles, C.; Hickson, D.; Jeffs, B.; Jones, K. M. Lautenbach, J.; Lewis, B. M.; Lynch, R. S.; Manoharan, P. K.; Marshall, S.; Minchin, R.; Palliyaguru, N. T.; Perera, B. B. P.; Perillat, P.; Pinilla-Alonso, N.; Pisano, D. J.; Quintero, L.; Raizada, S.; Ransom, S. M.; Fernandez-Rodriguez, F. O.; Salter, C. J.; Santos, P.; Sulzer, M.; Taylor, P. A.; Venditti, F. C. F.; Venkataraman, A.; Virkki, A. K.; Wolszczan, A.; Womack, M.; and Zambrano-Marin, L. F. (2019) Arecibo Observatory in the Next Decade. Submitted as an Activities and Projects White Paper for the Astro2020 decadal survey.

Taylor, P. A.; Rivera-Valentín, E. G.; Bonsall, A.; Becker, T. M.; Benner, L. A. M.; Bhiravarasu, S. S.; Brozovic, M.; Busch, M. W.; Campbell, B. A.; Ghigo, F. D.; Harris, A. W.; Magri, C.; Mainzer, A. K.; Margot, J.; Marshall, S. E.; Masiero, J. R.; Naidu, S. P.; Nolan, M. C.; Patterson, G. W.; Prockter, L. M. Sizemore, H. G.; Swindle, T. D.; Venditti, F. C. F.; and Virkki, A. K. (2019) Planetary Radar Astronomy with Ground-Based Astrophysical Assets. Astro2020: Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics, science white papers, no. 539.

Virkki, A. K.; Marshall, S. E.; Venditti, F. C. F.; Zambrano Marin, L. F.; Rivera-Valentin, E. G.; and Taylor, P. A. (2019) 2016 AZ_8. Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams, 4593, 1.

Marshall, S. E.; Taylor, P.; Rivera-Valentín, E.; Venditti, F.; Virkki, A.; Benner, L.; Brozovi, M.; Naidu, S.; Zambrano-Marin, L.; Bhiravarasu, S.; Aponte-Hernandez, B.; and Rodriguez Sanchez-Vahamonde, C. (2019) Shape model of 3200 Phaethon from radar and lightcurve observations. EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019, id. EPSC-DPS2019-1246.

Venditti, F.; Marshall, S.; Virkki, A.; Taylor, P.; Giorgini, J.; Zambrano-Marin, L.; Rivera-Valentin, E.; Bhiravarasu, S.; and Aponte, B. (2019) Radar Astrometry of Near-Earth Asteroids from the Arecibo Observatory: 2018-2019. AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy meeting #50, id. 100.07.

McGlasson, R.; Marshall, S.; Venditti, F.; Benner, L.; Brozovic, M.; Naidu, S.; Giorgini, J.; Aponte, B.; Harris, A.; Young, J.; Wells, G.; Bamberger, D.; and Tobak, J. (2019) Shape Model of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 1981 Midas from Radar and Lightcurve Observations. American Astronomical Society meeting #233, id. 255.03.


Marshall, S.; Cobb, A.; Raïssi, C.; Gal, Y.; Rozek, A.; Busch, M. W.; Young, G.; and McGlasson, R. (2018) Using Bayesian Optimization to Find Asteroids' Pole Directions. American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #50, id. 505.01D.

Bhiravarasu, S. S.; Rivera-Valentín, E. G.; Taylor, P. A.; Zambrano-Marin, L. F.; Aponte-Hernandez, B.; and Marshall, S. E. (2018) Arecibo Radar Observations of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres During the 2018 Apparition. Research Notes of the American Astronomical Society, 2, 4, id. 232.


Marshall, S. E.; Howell, E. S.; Vervack, R. J.; Magri, C.; Crowell, J. L.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Campbell, D. B.; Nolan, M. C.; Reddy, V.; Pravec, P.; and Bozek, B. (2017) Thermophysical Modeling of Potentially Hazardous Asteroid 85989 (1999 JD6). American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #49, id.110.15.