Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Lynnae C. Quick

(Associate Chief)

Lynnae C. Quick's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.286.1675
Org Code: 698
Mail Code 698
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Quick's research focuses on geophysical processes on the Ocean Worlds in our solar system and in extrasolar planetary systems. She applies principles of fluid dynamics and heat transfer to model cryovolcanic processes and ocean crystallization on the icy moons of the giant planets and on dwarf planet Ceres. Dr. Quick also studies silicic volcanism on Venus and the Moon, and utilizes knowledge of the planets and moons in our solar system to characterize Earth-like exoplanets. Dr. Quick is a member of the Dawn, Europa Clipper, Dragonfly, and OSIRIS-APEX Mission science teams and the SSERVI TREX science team. She is also an executive committee member of the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG), co-chair of the National Society of Black Physicists' Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences section, and served on NASA's Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW) team.

Current Projects

Viscous Lava Flow Reconnaissance and Modeling

Planetary Geology

PI of ISFM-funded project in which we use the characteristics of the Glass Mountain and Glass Flow lava flows in northeastern California to test the accuracy of theoretical models for the emplacement of extraterrestrial lava flows.

The Role of Cryovolcanism in Creating Habitable Niches on Exoplanets Beyond the Snow Line

Extrasolar planets

PI of NASA Habitable Worlds (HW)-funded project to investigate prospects for cryovolcanic activity on extrasolar ocean worlds, and consideration of the role that cryovolcanism could play in creating habitable niches on ocean worlds throughout the galaxy.

Effusive Cryovolcanism on Europa


PI of NASA Solar System Workings (SSW)-funded project to investigate the emplacement of a subset of domes on Jupiter's moon Europa. These domes may have formed via the eruption of viscous cryolava (slushy eruptions of water, ice and salts) onto Europa's surface; we employ theoretical modeling to investigate their formation.

NASA's Europa Clipper Mission


Co-I on the Europa Imagaing System (EIS), a dual camera imager on the Europa Clipper spacecraft. As a member of the Europa Clipper science team, conducts investigations into the eruption dynamics of, and imaging constraints for, Europa's geyser-like plumes. Co-Chair of the Europa Clipper Plumes Focus Group from 8/2019 to 3/2022.

Dawn at Ceres

Planetary surfaces

Studying cryovolcanic and hydrothermal processes on dwarf planet Ceres as an Associate Science Team Member on NASA's Dawn Mission. Areas of interest include the emplacement of the faculae or "bright spots" in Occator crater, and the formation of the cryovolcano Ahuna Mons.

NASA's Dragonfly Mission to Titan


Science Team Member (Co-I) and Lead for the Dragonfly Student and Early Career Investigator Program Science Enhancement Option (SEO)

Toolbox for Research and Exploration (TREX)


Theme 2 Co-I in the TREX SSERVI node, investigating the role that near-surface volatiles may play in In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) on the Moon and small bodies. These investigations include studying brine eruptions on Ceres and lunar volcanic eruptions.

Trident: Mission to an Exotic Active World


Co-I on the recently down-selected Discovery Mission, with a focus on surface-subsurface exchange, cryovolcanism and geysering activity on Neptune's moon Triton

Odyssey: A Large Strategic Class Mission Study for the Exploration of the Neptune-Triton System


Co-I and Triton Lander Working Group Lead on Planetary Mission Concept Study (PMCS) focusing on the geology and geoophysics of Neptune's moon Triton and the science that could be achieved by various platforms.

Assessing Dwarf Planet Ceres’ Past and Present Habitability Potential


Co-I on Planetary Mission Concept Study (PMCS) focusing on Ceres geology and geophysics, specifically the ascent and eruption of brines on the dwarf planet. 


Associate Lab Chief

Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

August 2022 - Present

Ocean Worlds Planetary Scientist

Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

May 2019 - Present

Acting Associate Lab Chief

Planetary Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

February 2022 - August 2022

Staff Scientist and Planetary Geologist

The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - Washington, DC

January 2017 - May 2019

Research Scientist

The Planetary Science Institute - Tucson, AZ

January 2016 - January 2017

CRESST Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Maryland Baltimore County; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

August 2015 - December 2015

Project: Cryovolcanic Eruptions on Europa and Enceladus

NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow

Oak Ridge Associated Universities; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

August 2013 - July 2015

Project: Emplacement of Volcanic Domes on Venus and Europa


Ph.D., 2013 Earth & Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

      Area of Specialization: Planetary Magmatism and Volcanology

      Dissertation: Europa: Cryomagmatic Processes & Cryovolcanic Surface Expressions

M.A., 2011 Earth & Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

M.S., 2009 Physics (Astrophysics Concentration), The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

B.S., 2005 Physics, Summa Cum Laude, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Greensboro, NC


Professional Societies

AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS)

2014 - Present

National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP)

2013 - Present

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

2008 - Present

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

2005 - Present

Professional Service

Co-Chair, Habitable Worlds Observatory Solar System Observations Sub-Working Group (2024 - )

Member, American Astronomical Society Publications Committee (2024 - )

Member, Habitable Worlds Observatory Science, Technology, Architecture Review Team (START) (2023 - )

Co-Convener, The Uranus Flagship: Investigating New Paradigms for Outer Planet Exploration Workshop (2023 - )

Organizing Committee, Neptune/Triton Seminar Series (2021 - )

Programming Committee, The Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicists (2020 - )

Co-Chair, Earth and Planetary Systems Science Section (EPSS), The National Society of Black Physicists (2020-)

Steering Committee, The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) (2020-)

Steering Committee, The Network of Ocean Worlds (NOW) (2020-)

Steering Committee, NASA Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) (2018-)

Reviewer: Icarus, Nature Astronomy, Nature Geosciences, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, The Astrophysical Journal (ApJ) Letters, Geophysical Research Letters, The Planetary Science Journal (2017-)

Group Chief, Panelist, and External Reviewer: NASA ROSES Program (2014-)

Associate Editor, Science Advances (3/2021 - 12/2023)

NASA SMD Bridge Program Architect/Ad Hoc Leadership Council (2022 -2023)

Member, Ocean Worlds and Dwarf Planets Panel, National Academy of Sciences Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey for 2023-2032 (2020 -2022)

Member, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Sciences and Exploration Division Science Director's Committee (SDC) (2020 - 2022)

SOC Member, Brines Across the Solar System, Modern Brines workshop (2020 - 2021)

SOC Member, Exoplanets in Our Backyard Workshop (2019 - 2020)

Steering Committee Member and Early Career Scholars Focus Group Lead, Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) (2014-2015)


NASA Planetary Science Division Early Career Award (ECA) (2023)

NASA Early Career Achievement Medal (2022)

Named to NASA’s Top 10 List of People Who Inspired Us (2021)

AAS Division For Planetary Sciences Harold C. Urey Prize (2021)

Asteroid (2001 SV 291) discovered on 2001-09-17 was renamed Asteroid (37349) Lynnaequick (2021)

North Carolina A&T State University College of Science and Technology Alumni Achievement Award (2021)

NASA Robert H. Goddard Team Award: Goddard Equity Task Force & Equity Thought Leaders (2021)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Special Act Award: For support of Center efforts to create a more equitable environment for its employees (2021)

African Science Institute Fellow (2020)

NASA Astrobiology Institute Early Career Collaboration Award (2016)

NASA Early Career Fellow (named, 2015; no award)

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellowship, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (2013-2015)

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) Graduate Student Fellowship (2011-2013) 

Johns Hopkins University Randolph W. Bromery Fellowship (2010-2011)

Special Experience

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Road to Mission Success Course (Spring 2021) 



2024. "Planned Geological Investigations of the Europa Clipper Mission." Space Science Reviews 220 (1): 18 [10.1007/s11214-023-01036-z] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Investigating Europa’s Habitability with the Europa Clipper." Space Science Reviews 219 (8): 81 [10.1007/s11214-023-01025-2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Prospects for Cryovolcanic Activity on Cold Ocean Planets." The Astrophysical Journal 956 (1): 29 [10.3847/1538-4357/ace9b6] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "OSIRIS-APEX: An OSIRIS-REx Extended Mission to Asteroid Apophis." The Planetary Science Journal 4 (10): 198 [10.3847/psj/acf75e] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Exploring the Interior of Europa with the Europa Clipper." Space Science Reviews 219 (6): 46 [10.1007/s11214-023-00990-y] [Journal Article/Letter]

2023. "Io as an Analog for Tidally Heated Exoplanets." Astrophysics and Space Science Library 323-348 [10.1007/978-3-031-25670-7_10] [Article in Book]

2022. "Cryolava Dome Growth Resulting From Active Eruptions on Jupiter’s Moon Europa." Icarus 387 115185 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.icarus.2022.115185] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Foundational Women in Planetary Geomorphology: Some Contributions in Fluvial, Aeolian, and (Cryo)Volcanic Subdisciplines." Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 1-15 [10.1002/esp.5465] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Science Drivers for the Future Exploration of Ceres: From Solar System Evolution to Ocean World Science." The Planetary Science Journal 3 (3): 64 [10.3847/psj/ac502b] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Hypotheses for Triton's plumes: New analyses and future remote sensing tests." Icarus 375 114835 [] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Concepts for the Future Exploration of Dwarf Planet Ceres’ Habitability." The Planetary Science Journal 3 (2): 41 [10.3847/psj/ac34ee] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Cryovolcanism." Planetary Volcanism Across the Solar System 1 161-234 [10.1016/b978-0-12-813987-5.00005-5] [Article in Book]

2021. "Neptune Odyssey: A Flagship Concept for the Exploration of the Neptune–Triton System." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (5): 184 [10.3847/psj/abf654] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Triton: Fascinating Moon, Likely Ocean World, Compelling Destination!." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (4): 137 [10.3847/psj/abffd2] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Science Goals and Objectives for the Dragonfly Titan Rotorcraft Relocatable Lander." The Planetary Science Journal 2 (4): 130 [10.3847/psj/abfdcf] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "The Fundamental Connections Between the Solar System and Exoplanetary Science." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 126 (2): e2020JE006643 [10.1029/2020je006643] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Forecasting Rates of Volcanic Activity on Terrestrial Exoplanets and Implications for Cryovolcanic Activity on Extrasolar Ocean Worlds." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 132 (1014): 084402 [10.1088/1538-3873/ab9504] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Characterizing deposits emplaced by cryovolcanic plumes on Europa." Icarus 343 113667 [10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113667] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Seismicity on tidally active solid-surface worlds." Icarus 338 113466 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.icarus.2019.113466] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Ceres: Astrobiological Target and Possible Ocean World." Astrobiology 20 269-291 [10.1089/ast.2018.1999] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "A Global Inventory of Ice‐Related Morphological Features on Dwarf Planet Ceres: Implications for the Evolution and Current State of the Cryosphere." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 2018JE005699 [10.1029/2018je005699] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Slurry extrusion on Ceres from a convective mud-bearing mantle." Nature Geoscience 12 (7): 505-509 [10.1038/s41561-019-0378-7] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Synthesis of the special issue: The formation and evolution of Ceres’ Occator crater." Icarus 320 213-225 [10.1016/j.icarus.2018.08.029] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Bright carbonate surfaces on Ceres as remnants of salt-rich water fountains." Icarus 320 39-48 [10.1016/j.icarus.2018.01.022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "A Possible Brine Reservoir Beneath Occator Crater: Thermal and Compositional Evolution and Formation of the Cerealia Dome and Vinalia Faculae." Icarus 320 119-135 [10.1016/j.icarus.2018.07.016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "The central pit and dome at Cerealia Facula bright deposit and floor deposits in Occator crater, Ceres: Morphology, comparisons and formation." Icarus 320 159-187 [10.1016/j.icarus.2018.08.010] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Tectonic analysis of fracturing associated with occator crater." Icarus 320 49-59 [10.1016/j.icarus.2018.05.012] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Floor‐Fractured Craters on Ceres and Implications for Interior Processes." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 2018JE005632 [10.1029/2018je005632] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Solar system science with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope." Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 4 (03): 1 [10.1117/1.jatis.4.3.034003] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Corrigendum to “New approaches to inferences for steep-sided domes on Venus” [J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 319 (2016) 93–105]." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 347 408 [10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.07.007] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Cryovolcanic Emplacement of Domes on Europa." Icarus 284 477-488 [10.1016/j.icarus.2016.06.029] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Cryovolcanism on Ceres." Science 353 (6303): aaf4286-aaf4286 [10.1126/science.aaf4286] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "New Approaches to Inferences for Steep-Sided Domes on Venus." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 319 93-105 [10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.02.028] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Heat Transfer of Ascending Cryomagmas on Europa." Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 319 66-77 [10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.03.018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Constraining the Thickness of Europa’s Water-Ice Shell: Insights from Tidal Dissipation and Conductive Cooling." Icarus 253 16-24 [Full Text] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. " Constraints on the Detection of Cryovolcanic Plumes on Europa ." Planetary and Space Science 86 1-9 [Full Text] [10.1016/j.pss.2013.06.028] [Journal Article/Letter]


2020. "Cryolava Dome-Forming Eruptions on Europa and Inferences for the Evolution of Crustal Fluid Reservoirs." 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Abstract #2183 [Proceedings]

2020. "NASA Planetary Mission Concept Study: Assessing Dwarf Planet Ceres’ Past and Present Habitability Potential." 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Abstract #1790 [Proceedings]

2019. "A New Analysis of the Rheology of Cryolava Flows in Vulcan Planitia." The Pluto System After New Horizons Conference Abstract #7081 [Proceedings]

2019. "Developing a Database for Candidate Cryovolcanic Domes on Europa." 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Abstract #3264 [Proceedings]

2019. "50 Years of a Planetary Science Workforce: Hidden Figures and the Legacy of Apollo." 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Abstract #3162 [Proceedings]

2018. "Ahuna Mons lonely no more." Nature Astronomy 2 (12): 940-941 [10.1038/s41550-018-0648-0] [Journal Article/Letter]