Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Physics

Reader in Planetary Science



m.galand Website




Huxley BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





My principal research interest is the study of planetary atmospheres. In particular, I investigate solar and auroral particle energy deposition in atmospheres of bodies throughout the solar system, using sophisticated kinetic and fluid models. Through close collaborations with science teams of major space missions (e.g., Cassini, Venus Express, Rosetta) I have used these models as binding elements between datasets from different instruments and thus optimized the scientific output from such measurements. The solar system bodies on which I have focused so far include: Saturn and its largest moon, Titan, Jupiter, Venus, Earth, Mars, and comets.



show research

- Rosetta: Co-I, Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC), and Associate Scientist, Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (Rosina), ESA/Rosetta.

- JUICE: Co-I, Radio and Plasma Wave Investigation (RPWI) and UltraViolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS), ESA/JUpiter ICy Moon Explorer (JUICE).

- Cassini: Team Associate, Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS), Cassini-Huygens.

- Venus Express: Supporting Investigator, ESA/Venus Express.

- Akatsuki: Co-I, Lightning and Airglow Camera (LAC), JAXA/Akatsuki [formerly known as Planet-C and Venus Climate Orbiter (VCO)]

Guest Lectures

Introduction to Planetary Ionospheres, 2015 STFC Introductory Solar System Plasmas Summer School, Glasgow, UK, 2015

Rosetta: Why are we chasing a comet?, Imperial SpaceLab Conference 2014, Imperial College London, London, UK, 2014

Introduction to Planetary ionospheres, 2014 STFC Introductory Solar System Plasmas Summer School, London, UK, 2014

Chemistry of planetary atmospheres, Astrobiology Summer School 'Molecules in Space', Onsala Space Observatory, Sweden, 2013

Planetary outer atmospheres: interfaces from atmospheres to magnetospheres, 2013 Heliophysics Summer School 'Heliophysics of the Planetary System', Boulder, CO, USA, 2013

"Planetary Ionospheres" for PG Lecture Series, Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London, UK, 2016

Research Staff


Research Student Supervision

Carnielli,G, Ganymede’s Ionosphere in preparation of ESA/JUICE

Héritier,K, Variability and evolution of the cometary plasma probed by ESA/Rosetta

Sagnieres,L, The Influence of Local Ionisation on Ionospheric Densities in Titan’s Upper Atmosphere

Chadney,J, Modelling of the upper atmosphere of gas-giant exoplanets irradiated by low-mass stars