Research

A sample of both my ongoing and previous work.
Here is my CV.

Ice on Mars and the PIXL instrument on the Mars Perseverance Rover

In late September 2021, I will begin the UW Earth and Space Sciences with Astrobiology Ph.D. program. I'll work with Michelle Koutnik on topics related to ice on Mars and Earth. With Tim Elam, I'll work on the PIXL instrument on the Mars Perseverance rover. Check back here for updates!

A New Probabilistic Model to Evaluate the Age and Erosion Rate of Young Sedimentary Rock on Mars

For my honors senior thesis project at UChicago (completed May 2021), I wrote a model based on the Poisson equation to estimate the formation age and erosion rate of the Medusae Fossae Formation (MFF) on Mars with Edwin Kite as my advisor. A large sedimentary unit located at the equatorial region, the MFF has an uncertain formation process and age. Due to a low dielectric constant and the induration necessary for this sedimentary unit to form, the MFF has interesting implications for both potential subsurface ice and when there was recent liquid water in the martian climate. Read my Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) abstract here. You can also read my entire thesis and see my code.

Additional undergraduate work

I'm grateful for the opportunity to explore a variety of research projects during my undergraduate career. This included my NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) project "Salton Sea Chlorophyll: A Case Study of How Biology Responds to an Increasingly Hypersaline Environment" with Raphael Kudela at UCSC, a technical review paper about perchlorates on Mars with Pascal Lee at the SETI Institute, environmental quantum computing applications with Gavin Jones at IBM Research, and testing a new detector for the South Pole Telescope with Clarence Chang at Argonne National Laboratory. In undergrad I was excited (and still am!) about a lot of different Earth and space-related topics, so I tried a bunch of things before figuring out what was most fascinating for me. I'm happy to answer any questions about my previous projects and my career path so far–shoot me an email at anli7@uw.edu. Don't be afraid to explore! :)