Home Contact

  Dr. Lora Jovanovic

Contact Info:

Office: Room 2xx, Bldg. 245
Mail: M/S 245-6, Moffett Field, CA 94035
Phone: 650 - 604 - xxx
Fax: 650 - 604- 6779
Email: xxx at nasa.gov
LinkedIn: in/lora-jovanovic-942023127

Lora Jovanovic


Dr. Lora Jovanovic is currently employed though the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute (BAERI), working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at NASA Ames Research Center in the Astrophysics & Astrochemistry Laboratory team, with Dr. Ella Sciamma-O'Brien and Dr. Farid Salama.

After studying Chemistry & Biology for her B.Sc. degree at Université Paris-Est Créteil (Créteil, France), Lora obtained a M.Sc. degree in Planetary Science & Space Exploration from Sorbonne Université (Paris, France) in 2018, completed by an internship with Dr. Thomas Gautier and Dr. Véronique Vuitton at LATMOS (Laboratoire Atmosphères, Observations Spatiales) and IPAG (Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble) laboratories (in France).

In 2021, Lora received her Ph.D. in Planetary Science from Université Paris-Saclay (Versailles, France), while working at LATMOS laboratory under the supervision of Pr. Nathalie Carrasco and Dr. Thomas Gautier. During her Ph.D., Lora used an experimental approach to study the aerosols detected in Pluto's atmosphere, from their formation in the upper atmosphere to their evolution once sedimented on the surface, through their interactions with the atmosphere. For this purpose, she used the PAMPRE experimental set-up installed at LATMOS to reproduce in the laboratory Pluto's atmospheric chemistry and synthesize analogues of Pluto's aerosols, also called gas tholins. She used various analytical techniques to understand the chemical and physical properties of both gas and solid samples, such as quadrupole mass spectrometry, high-resolution mass spectrometry, chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, ultraviolet-visible and infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and spectroscopic ellipsometry.

From 2022 to 2024, Lora was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Laboratory Studies group, with Dr. Murthy Gudipati and Dr. Bryana Henderson. To understand the origin and evolution, composition and optical properties of the organic matter detected on Pluto's and Triton's surfaces, Lora reproduced in the laboratory Pluto's and Triton's surface ice photochemistry using the TOAST-Acquabella experimental set-up installed at JPL. She investigated the spectral evolution of the Pluto and Triton ice analogues using ultraviolet-visible and infrared spectroscopy. She synthesized and characterized the refractory residues analogues of the organic material of interest, also called ice tholins. While she was a postdoctoral researcher at JPL, Lora began a collaboration with Dr. Ella Sciamma-O'Brien to characterize the optical constants n and k (i.e., real and imaginary parts of the complex refractive index) of these Pluto and Triton ice tholins.

Dr. Lora Jovanovic recently joined the Astrophysics & Astrochemistry Laboratory team. Lora will be working on both COSmIC (Cosmic Simulation Chamber) and OCF (Optical Constants Facility) facilities at NASA Ames Research Center. She will synthesize solid-phase analogues of cosmic grains, (exo)planetary atmospheric aerosols, and protoplanetary disk materials from gas chemistry at low temperature using the COSmIC chamber, and she will characterize the optical constants of these laboratory-generated solid materials from the ultraviolet to the far-infrared wavelength range using the OCF facility. She will be involved in the characterization of the ultraviolet-visible spectral properties of ices produced in a matrix isolation spectroscopy system for comparison to measurements of interstellar and (exo)planetary atmosphere environments. She will also contribute to the Optical Constants Database (OCdb), to facilitate the access and use of published optical constants.

Dr. Lora Jovanovic's research focuses on understanding the origin and evolution of the organic matter formed in the atmosphere and on the surface of small Solar System bodies (dwarf planets, icy satellites).

In her free time, Lora enjoys hiking and camping, traveling and visiting new places. She also enjoys learning to cook different specialties from around the world.

Lora's major publications can be found on the Astrochemistry Laboratory's Publications Pages.