The difference between science and the arts is not that they are different sides of the same coin even, or even different parts of the same continuum, but rather, they are manifestations of the same thing. The arts and sciences are avatars of human creativity.

Mae Jemison

Divya M. Persaud is a planetary scientist, writer, and composer. With an ongoing focus in remote sensing for planetary geology and geophysics, Divya’s research projects have included passive radiometry for surface composition using the MESSENGER orbiter’s Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA); paleomagnetism and geochemistry of meteorites and impact glasses; methods of stereo topography for icy moon geophysics using Cassini ISS digital elevation models (DEMs); and mission concept development for lava tube detection on Mars using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Space & Climate Physics at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, where she is developing methods of Mars image data fusion and automated feature recognition for surface geology ahead of the ExoMars 2020 rover launch. Divya holds a B.A. in geology and music composition from the University of Rochester and is an alumna of the NASA Academy.

Divya is also the poet of the upcoming book do not perform this, which won an Editor’s Choice Award (‘Great’ Indian Poetry Collective, 2018), and two self-published collections, color (2016) and de caelo et tellure (2015). She is additionally the composer of the self-produced song cycle/album THEY WILL BE FREE (2017). Her writing and music incorporate her polymathic background and transcend form to discuss memory, human connection, and the double-diaspora experience.

Divya hopes to be the first cellist on Mars.