Catherine L. Johnson is a professor of geophysics in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver and a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson. She earned a BSc. Hons in geophysics from Edinburgh University and a PhD in geophysics from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla. She has been a member of science teams for satellite or lander missions to Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Mars and asteroid (101955) Bennu. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the NAS. Awards include the Killam Research Prize from the University of British Columbia, the Price Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Shen Kuo Award of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy.

Research Interests

Catherine L. Johnson’s research addresses fundamental questions related to the formation and evolution of planets and moons. Her work focuses on geophysical investigations of terrestrial planets, moons and small bodies in our solar system, including the magnetic fields of Mercury, Mars, Earth and the Moon, the lithospheric structure and interior evolution of Venus, the seismicity and the interior structure of Mars and the Moon, and the surfaces and interior structure of asteroids. She uses sample, observatory and satellite data to probe the interior structure and history of these bodies, and to understand how internal and external processes interact to shape a planet or moon’s evolution.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 16: Geophysics