Los Alamos National LaboratoryCenter for Space and Earth Science
Part of the National Security Education Center

CSES Focus Area Leaders Bios

High quality, cutting-edge science in the areas of astrophysics, space physics, solid planetary geoscience, and Earth systems


  • Professional Staff Assistant
  • Melissa Martinez
  • (505) 665-0391
  • Email

Science Discipline Leaders  

  • Astrophysics & Cosmology
  • Chris Fryer
  • (505) 665-3394
  • Email
  • Earth Systems
  • Keeley Costigan
  • (505) 665-4788
  • Email
  • Geophysics
  • David Coblentz
  • (505) 667-2781
  • Email
  • Space Science
  • Vania Jordanova
  • (505) 667-9908
  • Email

Chris Fryer - Astrophysics and Cosmology

Chris Fryer

Chris Fryer has worked on a wide variety of physics and astrophysics projects. His primary astrophysics studies include the engines, progenitors and emission from core-collapse supernovae and gamma-ray bursts, neutron star formation and populations, and chemical evolution and nucleosynthesis. For his work on core-collapse supernovae, he was named an APS fellow. He has also worked extensively in laboratory astrophysics studying turbulence, radiation transport, radiation hydrodynamics and atomic opacities. For his combined astrophysics and laboratory physics work, he received an E.O. Lawrence award and was named a LANL fellow.

Keeley Costigan - Earth Systems

Keeley Costigan

Keeley Costigan has a broad background in atmospheric science, with more than 30 years of experience with atmospheric numerical models. Keeley’s research activities have included studies of atmospheric boundary layer and complex terrain meteorology, regional water cycles, Large Eddy Simulations (LES), and atmospheric transport and dispersion. She has modeled greenhouse gas and contaminant emissions, transport, and mixing, to aid in the interpretation of measurements in the Four Corners region and other urban and rural locations. Keeley has also simulated Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and analyzed both modeled and observed EMP signals for ground-based measurement systems, under varied environmental conditions.

David Coblentz - Geophysics

David Coblentz

Ph.D., Arizona - Geophysics, 1994

David Coblentz is the EES-17 (Geophysics) Group Leader in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division. His academic background is in the field of numerical geodynamics and he is active in the application of solid earth geophysics and geodynamics to Earth Science problems relevant to the LANL mission. He is the author of more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in the field of intraplate stress modeling and the dynamics of the Earth's lithosphere. His recent work is focused on the in-situ stress field within reservoirs and terrain analysis using machine learning techniques.

Vania Jordanova - Space Science

Vania Jordanova

Vania Jordanova is a well-recognized member of LANL’s Space Environmental Modeling group and team leader for Space Environment, Effects and Mitigation (SEEM) team of the Space Science and Applications Group (ISR-1). She has over 25 years of experience in theoretical plasma physics, data analysis, and computational modeling. She joined Los Alamos in 2006 as a strategic hire in support of the LDRD-DR DREAM (Dynamic Radiation Environment Assimilation Model) project. Her area of expertise includes geomagnetic storm dynamics and processes that couple the ionospheric and magnetospheric regions. Dr. Jordanova created a state-of-the-art large-scale kinetic model that simulates the near-Earth transport of energetic particles in realistic electric and magnetic fields. She has been the Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI on more than 20 projects that study magnetospheric dynamics sponsored by NASA or NSF. She is a Co-I on two NASA Van Allen Probes instrument teams, the Energetic Particle, Composition, and Thermal Plasma (ECT) and the Electric and Magnetic Field Instrument Suite and Integrated Science (EMFISIS). Dr. Jordanova was the PI of the LDRD-DR SHIELDS (Space Hazards Induced near Earth by Large Dynamic Storms) project selected as a R&D 100 Award Winner in 2017. At present, she is the CSES Focus Lead for Space Science and leads LANL’s efforts to establish a “DRIVE Science Center” (a multi-institute multi-disciplinary Center to tackle large outstanding problems in Heliophysics, co-funded by NASA and NSF) at LANL, which integrally involves CSES.

Dr. Jordanova received a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1995. From 1996 until 2006 she worked at the University of New Hampshire, first as a research scientist, and later as a research professor. She has more than 130 scientific publications in the refereed literature and has given over 50 invited talks at international conferences and public lectures. She has served on a number of DOE, NASA and NSF review panels, the NSF/Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) Program Steering Committee, and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fred Scarf Award Committee. She has received two Los Alamos Distinguished Performance Awards, the NASA Group Achievement Award for Van Allen Probes Mission, and the ESA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cluster II Science.