Dr. Serina Diniega has been involved in a wide range of space exploration focused tasks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, since 2010. Serina entered JPL as a postdoctoral researcher -- she has a PhD in Applied Mathematics (from the University of Arizona) and utilizes geological insight, physical modeling, and mathematical thinking while delving deep into the ways landforms evolve into specific patterns, shapes, and sizes. During her first years at JPL, she looked into how lava flow dynamics evolve and form surface features on lava flows on the Earth, Mars, and Venus. Serina currently studies present-day gully and dune evolution on Mars, and has involved several undergraduate interns in this work. She also works for the Europa Mission and the development of the NASA Mars Exploration Program, as a member of the NASA Mars Program Office (who facilitates information flow between NASA HQ and the Mars science community).
In addition to her mission/program work and science research, Serina prioritizes encouraging students -- especially women and underrepresented minorities -- and the general public in STEM studies, and in fostering an environment where all can best contribute. She has a taught or mentored a wide variety of students (K-12 and undergraduate) in math, geology, and planetary science topics and research projects.