Ralf Jaumann studied geology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich (LMU) and earned his doctoral degree there in 1989 with a thesis about the chemical and mineralogical composition of lunar surface materials. In 1984 he visited the Mauna Kea Observatory of the University of Hawaii and the United States Geological Survey in Flagstaff for spectral studies of the lunar surface. In 1988 he joined the Institute of Optoelectronics of the German Aerospace Research Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen, became supervisor of the Experimental Mission Definition department in 1991, and is since 1994 head of the Planetary Geology department of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin- Adlershof. He passed some additional time as visiting scientist in the USA and earned his habilitation at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich (2003). In 2006 he became professor for planetology at the Free University of Berlin (FUB). He is involved in several solar system exploring missions of ESA and NASA and director of the DLR/NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility, deputy director of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin-Adlershof, and experiment manager of the High Resolution Stereo Camera of the ESA Mars Express Mission.His research focuses on the origin and evolution of planetary surfaces in the solar system as well as on interactions with their endogenic and exogenic environment. Main research topics are the evolution of the terrestrial planets and the Moon, the role of water and ice with respect to geological surface processes, the formation of possible habitable zones e.g. on Mars, the evolution of icy satellites in the outer solar system, geological processes induced by liquids such as methane on the Saturnian moon Titan, as well as the origin and evolution of the primordial surfaces of proto-planetary bodies. He has 125 peer reviewed publications and more than 500 contributions to international conferences.

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