Jorge Núñez is a senior planetary scientist and astrobiologist in the Space Exploration Sector at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) with over a decade of experience participating in spaceflight missions, developing instruments for planetary missions, and conducting field analog studies. He received dual BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Arizona State University (ASU). He joined APL in 2013 as a postdoctoral fellow using MRO/CRISM instrument to study Martian gullies and other aqueous mineral deposits. His primary research focuses on studying the geology and composition of planetary surfaces from the micro-to the macro-scale using a variety of remote sensing and in situ techniques, including visible/near-infrared and Raman spectroscopy. Of particular interest is understanding the geologic history of planetary surfaces such as Mars and their potential for habitability. When not analyzing data from planetary missions, he also studies terrestrial analogs in the field and samples in the laboratory, and develops new instruments for future planetary missions. Jorge has expertise in microscopy, visible/near-infrared spectroscopy, and instrument development, and is a team member on multiple planetary missions, including MRO/CRISM, New Horizons, and Dragonfly missions. Jorge enjoys mentoring students and junior scientists/engineers as well as participating in Education/Public Outreach activities.
14 Aug. 2020 RFI Español interview (in Spanish) about the Mars 2020 mission: https://www.rfi.fr/es/ciencia/20200814-rover-perseverance-buscando-rastros-de-vida-en-marte-misión-nasa-ingenuity-astrobiología