Alex Hayes, assistant professor of astronomy, will receive the 2016 Zeldovich Medal, in Commission B (planets) from COSPAR (Committee on Space Research for the International Council of Science) and the Russian Academy of Sciences. The award is given to young scientists who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in their field of research.
Hayes will be presented with the award at the inaugural ceremony of the 41st COSPAR Scientific Assembly on August 1 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Jonathan Lunine, David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences and director of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences, says that “the Zeldovich medal recognizes Alex as one of the most talented and promising planetary scientists of his generation. Alex not only is an inspiration to his students and colleagues, but he also is a joy to collaborate with. I give him my heartiest congratulations on an extremely well deserved award. "
Adds Terry Herter, professor and chair of astronomy, “This very deserving award points to Alex's excellence as a researcher; as chair, I can confirm that this excellence carries over to his teaching and mentoring of students as well. Alex has been a tremendous addition to the department.”
Hayes uses spacecraft-based remote sensing to study the surface, interior, and if present, atmosphere of planetary bodies. Recently, his group has focused on studying the Ocean Worlds of the Outer Solar System and Mars. Hayes and his team use the Cassini RADAR to study and model the surface morphologies of Saturn's icy satellites, including the distribution and evolution of Titan's hydrocarbon lakes and seas. Hayes is also a Co-Investigator on NASA's upcoming mission to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa. Using data from the Mars Exploration Rovers, Mars Science Laboratory, and upcoming Mars 2002 Rover, he is interested studying the depositional and diagenetic history of early Mars.