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Dr Jack Wright

Profile summary

  • Research Staff
  • Post Doctoral Research Associate (PlanMap)
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Physical Sciences
  • jack.wright

Professional biography

Work and Education

January 2019–present: Research Assistant, The Open University, UK

  • Planmap project (EU Horizon 2020 Grant Number 776276)
  • Creator and curator of planetary geomorphic maps of Mercury, the Moon, and Mars

October 2015–June 2019: PhD, The Open University, UK

  • Thesis title: MESSENGER observations of volcanism on Mercury: From Hokusai quadrangle down to small cones
  • Supervisors: Prof. David Rothery (OU), Dr Matt Balme (OU), Dr Susan Conway (Université de Nantes)

October 2011–June 2015: BA/MSci, Girton College, University of Cambridge, UK

October 2010–March 2011: Assistant Astronomer, Armagh Observatory, Northern Ireland, UK

Funding and Awards


  • €1300 from GeoPlaNet. Used to visit Nantes for a two-week collaboration (15/05–29/05)


  • $1500 from the Lunar and Planetary Institute for the LPI Career Development Award. Used to attend LPSC 2018 (19/03–23/03)


  • £750 from the Royal Astronomical Society Small Grants Scheme to attend 'Mercury: Current and Future Science of the Innermost Planet', Columbia, MD, USA (01/05/18–03/05/18)
  • £813 from the Royal Astronomical Society Small Grants Scheme to attend LPSC 2017 (kindly returned)
  • £550 from the British Society of Geomorphology Postgrad Conference Attendance grant scheme to attend LPSC 2017 (20/03–24/03)
  • £250 from the UK Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society travel bursary scheme to attend LPSC 2017 (20/03–24/03)

Research interests

I am currently a research assistant at the OU working on the Planmap project, which aims to provide highly informative geological maps of the three main bodies of interest for upcoming European space missions: Mercury, the Moon, and Mars. These maps will incorporate compositional, temporal, and ground truth data where available. My job is produce geomorphic maps based on spacecraft images that will be passed to international Planmap collaborators to add the compositional and temporal information to my geological interpretations. My first map (Hokusai quadrangle of Mercury) was completed as part of my PhD. I am now beginning a geological map of Mars.

So far, I have written papers and conference abstracts about geological mapping, volcanism, and potentially volatile-driven landform degradation on Mercury.

Teaching interests


Educator on Open University 'Moons' MOOC (31/10/16–31/12/16).

Invited lectures

Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society (10/04/19); Macclesfield Astronomical Society (17/07/18); The Sedgwick Club (13/11/17); The Friends of the Sedgwick Museum (10/10/17); The Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society (11/03/17); The Open University Astronomy Club (07/02/17); Science Uncovered at the Ulster Museum (30/09/16); Schools Young Physicists of the Year award ceremony (20/07/16); Open University Transit of Mercury Festival (09/05/16); Oxford University Department of Continuing Education 38th Annual Astronomy Weekend (16/04/16).

Other outreach

BBC TV appearance on 'The Sky at Night' (08/05/16); BBC Radio Three Counties interview about the transit of Mercury (09/05/16); Presenter for Open University Space Science Showcase at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (12/08/16–13/08/16).

External collaborations

  • Susan Conway (CNRS, Laboratoire de Planétologie ey Géodynamique, Université de Nantes, France): Study of landform evolution of the circum-Caloris knobs on Mercury.
  • Petr Brož (Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Science, Prague, Czech Republic): Studies of volcanic constructs on Mercury.

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