Katherine de Kleer

Assistant Professor | Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences | Caltech

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1200 E California Blvd
California Institute of Technology, M/C 150-21
Pasadena, CA 91125


171 South Mudd
Katherine de Kleer is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Katherine is interested in dynamic planetary processes and how they relate to the surface environments, atmospheres, and thermochemical histories of planets and satellites. Her research focuses on characterizing these processes through the application of powerful statistical methods to boundary-pushing telescope observations at optical through radio wavelengths. Her work to date has focused on topics including the atmospheric composition and global circulation of Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter; the volcanism, atmosphere, and tidal heating of Io; and the sub-surface material properties of Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede.

Research Interests

  • Dynamic processes in the solar system: atmospheric circulation and weather; geological activity; neutral and plasma environments
  • Planetary atmospheres: ice giant atmospheres; radiative transfer modeling; Io's volcanic atmosphere
  • Planetary & satellite surfaces: composition and material properties, as a tracer of past evolution and ongoing exogenic and endogenic processes
  • Tidal heating as it relates to Io's volcanism and the habitability of icy moons and exoplanets
  • Volcanism: on Io and Earth; as a source of crustal and atmospheric material in the early solar system; on magma exoplanets
  • Astrobiology: Europa, Enceladus, and detection of geological and biological signatures on extrasolar planets