Mike Malaska is a PhD organic chemist leading drug discovery projects at a small pharmaceutical company in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. He obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from MIT in 1986, his PhD degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, and did two years of postdoctoral research in neurochemistry at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.
He is also a volunteer researcher in planetary geology studying the Earth-like processes of Saturn's giant moon Titan. As part of his work, he got "Labyrinthus" officially recognized as a terrain type on Titan. His current research involves characterizing the Sikun Labyrinth canyonland region and hydrocarbon rivers and channels located near Titan's South Pole. He is also a volunteer artist for the AVIATR Titan Airplane mission proposal.
Mike is fascinated by the differences and similarities between the planets of our Solar System and how they relate to planet Earth. One of his hobbies is processing data from current and past spacecraft missions, including raw images taken only hours ago from orbit around another planet. Another of his interests is the wavelengths of light outside the visible spectrum (X-rays, gamma rays, infrared and radio waves) and what they can tell us about planetary and astronomical objects.
As a self-described enthusiastic nerd, Mike hopes to share his passion in planetary geology, chemistry, and astronomy using recent spacecraft images and data. Mike also enjoys fossil collecting, gardening, and black-water kayaking.