Bavani Kathir

Western Washington University

Bavani graduated from Texas A&M University with a BS in Geology, and she is currently pursuing an MS in Geology at Western Washington University under Dr. Melissa Rice. She is a student collaborator for the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard the NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. She works in Mission Operations as a Science Payload Downlink Lead. Her general research interests include planetary surface processes, sedimentology, and spectroscopy. For her undergraduate research project, she assisted in the creation of a 1D steady-state thermal model of Io’s crust using geophysical numerical modeling, and investigated the geochemistry of Io’s sulfur volcanics. Some of her other multifarious research work included petrographically characterizing meteorite samples from the Asteroid Vesta and igneous rock cores from the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. She is very passionate about environmental sustainability, and activism regarding animal and human welfare. In her free time, she enjoys hiking outdoors, reading Jane Austen, traveling, binge-watching Korean dramas, and obsessing over Taylor Swift and K-pop groups!

Read Bavani’s Mars 2020 mission blog post “Celebrating Halloween and Investigating Ghoulish Rocks From the Red Planet!”