Planetary Scientist

Dr. Matthew Siegler is a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and research faculty at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He focuses on thermal processes, data analysis, and modeling for NASA planetary missions. He is currently a Co-I on the LRO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, Mars 2020, and upcoming Viper and lunar CLPS missions. He focuses on subsurface volatile stability, geothermal heat flow, regolith thermal properties, and instrument design. He is also proud father to future astronauts Jack and June (see Fig. 1)



Solar System Volatiles
Solar System Volatiles


Planetary Scientist and Awesome Dad

Black and White Star in Circle


Sharing the Science Bug

I grew up in the metropolis of Wayne, Illinois, where a love of brio train magnets led to a career in planetary geophysics. As a high schooler, I got the science bug from Carl Sagan videos (actually VHS tapes from the library!) and a summer class at Fermilab, where I went on to intern during college. I was an undergrad at Cornell, where I double majored in Physics and Film, turning an interest in science documentaries into a full time job. There I also began working on the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    After College I worked at CERN/University of Zurich for a year, then headed back to Mars as a lab researcher at Caltech. From there I transitioned to UCLA where I PhD'ed about lunar volatiles, IR remote sensing and thermophysical lab work and modeling. I entertained the department with my student films. 

   I then went to JPL, where I postdoced, then became a Staff Scientist and a real life geophysicist working on the Moon and Mars. I also used my film degree to work on the revamped Cosmos Series as a script advisor and as a series producer/director for the PhDetours online series for PhDTV (Part of PHD Comics). 

    With the advent of children, I moved to Dallas with my growing family and switched over to the Planetary Science Institute and Southern Methodist University. We've been doing awesomely well here, and I now am involved in several planetary missions (LRO, InSight, OSIRIS-REx, VIPER...), PI of a new microwave instrument, I've taught an intro planetary class at SMU and UTD, have several graduate students and a postdoc, two great kids, a greater wife, and a new treehouse.  



Articles and Books

31. St Clair, M., Million, C., & Siegler, M. (2020). Improvements to the Apollo 15 and 17 heat flow experiment data archive. P&SS, 187, 104944.

30. Rozitis, B., Emery, J. P., Siegler, M. A., Susorney, H. C. M., Molaro, J. L., Hergenrother, C. W., & Lauretta, D. S. (2020). Implications for ice stability and particle ejection from high‐resolution temperature modeling of asteroid (101955) Bennu. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, e2019JE006323.

29. Siegler, M.A., Feng, J., Lucey P., Ghent, R., Hayne, P. (2020) Lunar microwave loss tangent 

         and ilmenite content as constrained by the Chang’E MRM and LRO Diviner Lunar Radiometers

28. Banerdt, W.B., Smrekar, S.E., Banfield, D. et al. (full team) Initial results from the InSight mission on 

        Mars. Nat. Geosci. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-020-0544-y

27. Attree, N., Patel, N., Hagermann, A., Grott, M., Spohn, T., & Siegler, M. (2020). Potential effects of atmospheric 

        collapse on Martian heat flow and application to the InSight measurements. Planetary and Space 

        Science, 180, 104778.

26. B. Rozitis, B., Emery,J. Siegler, M., Susorney, H, Molaro, J., Hergenrother, C. and D. S. Lauretta,D. (2020)        

        Implications for ice stability and particle ejection from high-resolution temperature modeling of        

        asteroid (101955) Bennu, JGR Planets

25.  Feng, J., Siegler, M. A., & Hayne, P. O. (2020). New Constraints on Thermal and Dielectric Properties of 

         Lunar Regolith from LRO Diviner and CE‐2 Microwave Radiometer. Journal of Geophysical Research: 

        Planets, 125(1), e2019JE006130.

24. Ojha, L., Karimi, S., Lewis, K. W., Smrekar, S., & Siegler, M. (2019). Depletion of Heat Producing   

          Elements in the Martian Mantle. Geophysical Research Letters, 46. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL085234

23. Williams, J‐P., B. T. Greenhagen, D. A. Paige, N. Schorghofer, E. Sefton‐Nash, P. O. Hayne, P. G. Lucey, 

          M. A. Siegler, and K‐Michael Aye. "Seasonal Polar Temperatures on the Moon." JGR: Planets (2019). 

22. Woods‐Robinson, R., Siegler, M. A., & Paige, D. A. (2019). A Model for the Thermophysical Properties of

           Lunar Regolith at Low Temperatures. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

21. The Regolith of (101955) Bennu from OSIRIS-REx Imaging and Thermal Analysis Nature Astronomy

         DellaGiustina, D., Emery, J., Golish, D, Rozitis, B, and 59 authors, including Siegler, M. (2019).  

20. Morgan, P., Grott, M., Knapmeyer-Endrun, B., Golombek, M., Delage, P., Lognonné, P… Siegler, M.

          (14th of 17) (2018). A pre-landing assessment of regolith properties at the InSight landing   

          site. Space Science Reviews, 214(6), 104.

19. Hayne, P.O., Banfield, J., Siegler, M., …(2017) Global regolith thermophysical properties of the Moon 

           from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, JGR Planets,  122(12), 2371-2400

18. Siegler, M.A., Smrekar, S.E. Piqueux,S. ,Müller,N., Grott M. (2017) Three-Dimensional  

           Thermal  Modeling for the 2016 InSight Mission Space Science Reviews- InSight Special Issue doi 


17. Delitsky, M. L., Paige, D. A., Siegler, M. A., Harju, E. R., Schriver, D., Johnson, R. E., & Travnicek, P. 

           (2017). Ices on Mercury: Chemistry of volatiles in permanently cold areas of Mercury's north polar 

           region. Icarus, 281, 19-31.

16. Fisher, E. A., Lucey, P. G., Lemelin, M., Greenhagen, B. T., Siegler, M. A., Mazarico, E., ... & Paige, 

          D. A. (2017). Evidence for surface water ice in the lunar polar regions using reflectance           
          measurements from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter and temperature measurements from the           

          Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment. Icarus, 292, 74-85.

15. Plesa, A. C., Grott, M., Lemmon, M. T., Müller, N., Piqueux, S., Siegler, M. A., S. Smrekar & Spohn, T.  

          (2016). Interannual perturbations of the Martian surface heat flow by atmospheric dust opacity 

          variations. JGR Planets, 121(10), 2166-2175.

14. Siegler, M.A., Miller, R., Keane, J, Laneuville, M., Paige, D., Matsuyama, I., Crotts, A., Poston, M. (2016) 

           Lunar True Polar Wander Inferred from Polar Hydrogen, Nature Vol 531. 480-484.

13. Johnson, C. L., Phillips, R. J., Purucker, … Siegler M.A… Solomon S.C. (2015) Low-altitude magnetic 

            field measurements by MESSENGER reveal Mercury’s ancient crustal field Science Vol. 348

12. Siegler M.A., Paige, D.A., Williams, J.P., Bills, B.G., (2015) Evolution of Lunar Polar Ice 

            Stability, Icarus Special Issue on Lunar Volatiles- Volume 255, 78–87

11. Hayne, A Hendrix, E Sefton-Nash, Siegler, M.A.,… (2015) Evidence for exposed water ice in the   

          Moon’s south polar regions from LRO UV albedo and temperature measurements. Icarus 255-58

10. Hurley, D. M., Sarantos, M., Grava, C., Williams, J. P., Retherford, K. D., Siegler, M.A, …(2015).

          An analytic function of lunar surface temperature for exospheric modeling. Icarus 255 

9. Gong, X., Paige, D. A., Siegler, M. A., & Jin, Y. Q. (2015). Inversion of Dielectric Properties of the Lunar   

          Regolith Media With Temperature Profiles Using Chang'e Microwave Radiometer Observations.  

          Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE, 12(2), 384-388.

8. Siegler, M.A.; Smrekar,S. (2014) Lunar Heat Flow: Regional Prospective of the Apollo  

            Landing sites, JGR Planets Volume 119, Issue 1, DOI: 10.1002/2013JE004453

7. Siegler, M. A.; Bills, B. G.; Paige, D. A. (2013) Long term climate variability of Mercury’s Poles JGR

 Planets, Vol. 118, 1–8, doi:10.1002/jgre.20070

6. Paige, D.A., Siegler, M.A., Harmon, J.K., Neumann, G.A. , Mazarico, E.M., Smith, D.E., 

            Zuber, M.T., Harju, E., Delitsky, M.L., and Solomon, S.C. (2013) Thermal stability of 

            volatiles in the north polar region of Mercury- Science, doi 10.1126/science.1231106

5. Vasavada, A. R., Bandfield, J. L., Greenhagen, B. T., Hayne, P. O., Siegler, M. A., Williams,  

            J. P., & Paige, D. A. (2012). Lunar equatorial surface temperatures and regolith 

             properties from the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment. JGR Planets, 117(E12).

4. Siegler M.A., Aharonson O., Choukroun M., Hudson T., Schorghofer N., Xu S. (2012) Measurements of 

thermal properties of icy Mars regolith analogs JGR Planets, doi:10.1029/2011JE003938

3. Siegler M.A., Bills B.G., Paige D.A. (2011) Effects of orbital evolution on lunar ice stability, 

JGR Planets VOL. 116, doi:10.1029/2010JE003652

2. Paige D.A., Siegler M.A., Zhang J.A., Hayne P.O., Diviner Team (2010) Diviner Observations of Cold 

Traps in the Lunar South Polar Region: Spatial Distribution and Temperature, Science

1. Hayne, P. O., Greenhagen, B. T., Foote, M. C., Siegler, M. A., Vasavada, A. R., & Paige, D. A. (2010). 

Diviner lunar radiometer observations of the LCROSS impact. Science



Lectures & Workshops


Fall 2016, 2017, 2019- Southern Methodist University

Spring 2017 - University of Texas at Dallas

Introduction to Planetary Science
An overview of cosmology, the creation of the planets, and planetary exploration
Enrollment ~80


Contact Matt Siegler to discuss their published work, teaching, collaboration opportunities or for any other inquiries.