Tenure Track Faculty
Dr. Brain studies the atmospheres and plasma environments of unmagnetized planets, including Mars, Venus, and exoplanets. Charged particles and magnetic fields from the Sun are believed to have altered the atmospheres of these bodies over solar system history. By studying atmospheric processes that occur today we work to unravel how planets evolve, why their atmospheres can be different from our own, and what makes them habitable. Dr. Brain uses both spacecraft data and computer models in his research. He is currently the Principal Investigator on a NASA-funded team science center working to determine whether habitable planets require magnetic fields. In addition, he is a Deputy Principal Investigator on the NASA MAVEN mission studying the escape of the Martian atmosphere, Deputy Science Lead for the Emirates Mars Mission, and a team lead for NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet System Science. He's involved in three spacecraft missions in development.