Alejandro Soto

Alejandro Soto

Senior Research Scientist

Southwest Research Institute


I am a Research Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), where I work in the Planetary Science Directorate in Boulder, CO. I study the climate dynamics of terrestrial atmospheres through the use atmospheric models of varying complexity, including general circulation models and mesoscale models. I am also involved in instrument development, using new laser based techniques to observe atmospheres and surfaces both in situ and remotely. Finally, I am a member of the Project ESPRESSO team, which is a virtual institute funded by NASA’s SSERVI program to enable and enhance future solar system exploration by developing the tools and techniques that both robotic and human explorers will need.

In the not too distant past, I was an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I worked on a wide range of projects, from advanced concept design to technology development to flight development to operations. I continue to combine this instrument experience with my scientific research.

A quick overview of my work can be found in my CV/resumé.

  • Planetary Science
  • Climate Dynamics
  • Numerical Modeling
  • Instrument Development
  • Planetary Exploration
  • Ph.D. in Planetary Science, 2012

    California Institute of Technology

  • M.S. in Aeronatics & Astronautics, 2000

    Stanford University

  • B.A. in Physics & Astronomy, 1997

    Dartmouth College

Recent Publications

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(2020). Global Temporal and Geographic Stability of Brines on Present-day Mars. The Planetary Science Journal.

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(2020). A semiconductor-based neutron detection system for planetary exploration. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment.

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(2020). Distribution and habitability of (meta)stable brines on present-day Mars. Nature Astronomy.

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(2020). Stratification Dynamics of Titan’s Lakes via Methane Evaporation. The planetary science journal.



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