Hörst Group Members
Postdocs and Research Scientists


Graduate Students
Amy Wetsch (2nd Year at Maryland Institute College of Art)

Amy is a second year graduate student at Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work is comprised of large installations and mixed media sculptures that revolve around the transformation of unconventional materials. Much of Amy’s work examines ideas of the internal and external struggles of the human body at a microscopic level. Recently she has been exploring the macros of the universe, specifically learning about Titan and interpreting its research and data through a creative lens.


Bryné Hadnott (2nd Year)

Bryné is a second year graduate student with a background in planetary science and spectroscopy. She is interested in the formation of complex organic molecules in planetary atmospheres and hazes. She’s also interested in experimenting with various spectroscopy techniques for application to future planetary/astronomical missions. In her free time, she likes to pet dogs and dance. Bryné is also a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellow (NESSF).


Michael Radke (3rd Year)

Michael is a third year graduate student with a background in Geology and Chemistry. He is interested in the chemistry of planetary atmospheres--particularly those of Venus and Titan. He is also interested in the complex chemical interactions between planetary surfaces and atmospheres and how these atmospheres evolve over geologic timescales. He enjoys drinking coffee, looking at rocks, skiing, and contemplating his existence in the Solar System.


Sarah Moran (3rd Year)

Sarah is a third year graduate student with an Astrophysics background. She's interested in the atmospheric dynamics and chemistry of the outer Solar System planets as well as exoplanets. She also has a strong interest in science policy, related to both this and other worlds. Sarah is also a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellow (NESSF).




Kristin Showalter (3rd Year)

Kristin is a third year graduate student with a background in applied physics and space systems engineering. She is interested in atmospheric dynamics and chemistry for both exoplanets and solar system planets. She is also interested in planetary formation and orbital dynamics. She is currently engaged in research with the Space Telescope Science Institute looking at spectroscopy of hot Jupiter atmospheres.


Joseph Serigano (4th Year)

Joe is a fourth year graduate student interested in the atmospheres of the outer solar system. He is currently using photochemical models to understand the physical, chemical, and dynamical processes that occur in Titan’s complex atmosphere.



Xinting Yu (余馨婷) (5th Year)

Xinting is a fifth year graduate student studying Titan. She is currently using the Titan Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames and other laboratory methods to understand the aeolian processes on Titan. She is also interested in interparticle forces for Titan aerosol analogs, `tholin'. The cool thing about Titan is that there are so many unknowns and there are always something to go for. Xinting is also the 2018 winner of the Dwornik Award for the Best Graduate Oral Presentation at the 2018 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.


  • Yu, X.*, Hörst, S.M.., He, C.*, McGuiggan, P., and N.T. Bridges. "Direct Measurement of Interparticle Forces of Titan Aerosol Analogs (Tholin) Using Atomic Force Microscopy." JGR Planets, 122, doi: 10.1002/2017JE005437, 2017.

    Yu, X*, Hörst, S.M., He, C.*, Bridges, N.T., Burr, D.M., Sebree, J.A., and Smith, J.K. "The Effect of Adsorbed Liquid and Material Density on Saltation Threshold: Insight from Laboratory and Wind Tunnel Experiments." Icarus, 297, 97-109, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.06.034, 2017.





  • Undergraduate Students

    Ashley Walker (Senior, Chicago State University)


    Major: Chemistry
    Interests: Astrochemistry, planet formation, and Titan.
    Ashley is a chemistry major at Chicago State University. She's interested in astrochemistry, planet formation, and Titan. She plays sports such as basketball and flag football, she loves animals, and she's also interested in social justice and increasing minorities in STEM.




    Former Group Members
    Sydney Riemer (Undergraduate, 2015-2017)

    BA in Earth and Planetary Sciences 2018
    Sydney is pursuing a master's in Geological and Environmental Science at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. She will be studying benthic organisms and how they affect sediment geochemistry.


    Mira Sobhy (Undergraduate, 2016-2017)

    BA in Earth and Planetary Sciences 2018
    Mira will be doing an internship at NASA JPL during Summer 2018, working on the Mars Sample Return architecture. Then she will be moving to New Zealand, as the 2018 Meg Walsh Award recipient where she will run a project that works on revitalization of indigenous Māori astronomy.




    Last Updated: 24 May 2018

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