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Research Areas
  • Asteroids
  • Planetary Science
  • Space Exploration
  • Light Scattering

Luisa Fernanda Zambrano–Marin

Luisa Fernanda was born in Colombia, she moved to Puerto Rico in 1998. She did her undergraduate degree in applied Physics at Metropolitan University (UMET, Ana G. Mendez University System). As an undergraduate, she did research with the Vatican Observatory Group in Castel–Gandolfo for the Kepler Mission. She competed her Masters in Space Studies at the International Space University (ISU, Strasbourg, France) and has been an active member of the Space community ever since. Her Msc. Thesis was done at Goddard Space Flight Center under the mentorship Dr. Mario Acuna (1941–2009) relating to the Juno Mission and an analysis of the Voyager 1 and 2 Missions. From 2009–2012 she worked at the University of Texas at Brownsville, at the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Where she managed and aided in the development of the only observatory in the Rio Grande Valley, the Nompuewenu Astronomical Observatory, then as assistant director of The Teacher Quality Grants Program focused in Astrobiology. After moving back to Puerto Rico, she lead the Arecibo Observatory Space Academy (2013 – 2017), a pre–college program that graduated over 300 local students from its challenging program.

She is currently a Ph.D candidate in Space Sciences at the University of Granada, working from arecibo on the study of asteroid near surfaces and their scattering properties under the mentorship of Dr Anne Virkki and Dr. Edgard Rivera–Valentin.

Zambrano–Marin studies relationships between polarization properties and near surface bulk density along with known relationships between polarization and spectral class of near–Earth Objects observed with radar. She processes recent data sets and extract measurements for scientific analysis and publication. In addition, Zambrano–Marin studies radar scattering effects on: circular polarization ratios, radar albedo, and dispersion of signal, refractive indices, electric permittivity and its geometry implications on body composition while also applying Earth analogs of radar measurements to refine our understanding of planetary surfaces and extract relationships on objects evolution and physical parameters.

Luisa Fernanda Zambrano–Marin updates and maintains observations and data processing records in the Arecibo. She also has continuous participation in Observations Planning and Execution.

This staff does not have a mentorship history


Zambrano-Marin L. F., Virkki a., Rivera-Valentin E. G., Taylor P. a. 'Scattering Laws Fit for Dual Polarization Radar Echoes of asteroids using Arecibo Observatory Planetary Radar Data' .' LPSC XLIX, abstract. 2018.


Howell, E. S., Lejoly, C., Taylor, P. a., Rivera-Valentin, E. G., Zambrano-Marin, L. F., Giorgini, J. D., ... & Saran Bhiravarasu, S., 'arecibo radar observations of 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák constrain the nucleus size and rotation' . In aaS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting abstracts (Vol. 49). 2017.

Taylor, P.a., Howell, E.S., Zambrano-Marin, L.F., Rivera-Valentin, E.G., Virkki, a., Aponte-Hernandez, B., Lopez-Oquendo, a.J., Vervack, R.J., Fernandez, Y.R., Crowell, J.L. and Margot, J.L., (2017). 'Radar and infrared observations of binary near-Earth asteroid 5143 Heracles.' LPSC XLVIII, abstract. 2017.

Taylor, P.a., Virkki, a., Warner, B., aznar, a., Howell, E.S., Vervack, R.J., Crowell, J.L., Hinkle, M., Venditti, F., Zambrano-Marin, L.F. and Aponte-Hernandez, B., 'Radar, Optical, and Infrared Observations of Equal-Mass Binary Near-Earth asteroid (190166) 2005 uP156.' In aaS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting abstracts (Vol. 49).

Virkki, a., Taylor, P. a., Zambrano-Marin, L. F., Howell, E. S., Nolan, M. C., Lejoly, C., ... & Aponte, B. a. 'Near-surface bulk densities of asteroids derived from dual-polarization radar observations' . In European Planetary Science Congress (Vol. 11). 2017.

Rivera-Valentin, E.G., Taylor, P.a., Virkki, a., Saran Bhiravarasu, S., Venditti, F., Zambrano-Marin, L.F. and Aponte-Hernandez, B., 'Arecibo Radar Observations of Near-Earth asteroids.' In AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting abstracts (Vol. 49).


Zambrano Marin, L. F., Nolan, M. C., Taylor, P. a., & Virkki, a.). 'Comparing near-surface and bulk densities of asteroids using radar scattering properties.' In aaS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting abstracts (Vol. 48). 2016.

Zambrano-Marin, L.F., Rivera-Valentin, E.G., Schmelz, J., Rodriguez-Ford, L.a., Aponte, B. and Ortiz, a.M., 'The arecibo Observatory Space academy: 4 years of STEM engagement' . LPSC XLVII, abstract, 2617. 2016.


Rodriguez-Ford, L. a.; Zambrano-Marin, L. F.; Petty, B. M.; Howell, E. S.; Nolan, M. C. 'Arecibo Observatory Space academy: Inspiring the next Generation of Scientists from Puerto Rico' 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 16-20, 2015 Woodlands, TX. LPI Contribution No. 1832, p.2783, March 2015.


Howell, Ellen S.; Nolan, Michael C.; Taylor, Patrick a.; Springmann, Alessondra; Rodriguez-Ford, Linda; Zambrano-Marin, Luisa F.; Benner, Lance a.; Brozovic, Marina; Giorgini, Jon D.; Hergenrother, Carl. 'Radar images of Comet 209P/LINEAR: Constraints on shape and rotation' American astronomical Society, DPS meeting #46, #209.24. November 2014.

Taylor, Patrick a.; Warner, Brian D.; Magri, Christopher; Springmann, Alessondra; Nolan, Michael C.; Howell, Ellen S.; Miller, Kevin J.; Zambrano-Marin, Luisa F.; Richardson, James E.; Hannan, Melissa; Pravec, Petr. 'The Smallest Binary asteroid? The Discovery of Equal-Mass Binary 1994 CJ1' American astronomical Society, DPS meeting #46, #409.03 November 2014.


Luisa F Zambrano-Marin and Phil Dukes, 'World Space Week 2013: Discovering Mars, Discovering Earth' ad astra, the Magazine of the National Space Society, fall 2013, pg 23.

Luisa Fernanda Zambrano-Marin, Dave Dressel, 'Welcome To ISDC 2013' ad astra, The Magazine of the National Space Society, Spring 2013; pg 11.


J. L. Elliot, M. J. Person, C. a. Zuluaga, L.F. Zambrano-Marin, et. al. 'Nature Letters: Size and albedo of Kuiper belt object 55636 from a stellar occultation', Nature 465, 897-900 (17 June 2010) doi:10.1038/nature09109, Received 02 February 2010 & accepted 16 April 2010


START, The use of Space Technologies' , International Space university, Strasbourg France, 2007.

Fernanda Zambrano Marin, Luisa, and M. H. acuna. 'Juno Mission Fluxgate Magnetometer.' In Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, vol. 39, p. 977. 2