Organizing Committee

NextGen is lead by the Organizing Committee (OC), a team of committed to furthering the goals of NextGen through different roles including Communications Lead, Administrative Lead, Events Lead, EDIA Lead, and At-Large Members. 

Elisha Jhoti

OC Chair

Elisha is a PhD student on the Geophysics and Space Physics program at UCLA. Her research focuses on modelling the lunar thermal environment using surface roughness. She works on the LRO Diviner project as well as the ground penetrating radar, RIMFAX, onboard the Mars2020 rover. She graduated in 2019 with an integrated Masters degree in Astrophysics from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Sarah Valencia

LEAG Liaison

Dr. Sarah Valencia is a lunar petrologist with the University of Maryland College Park at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland. Her work focuses on the evolution of igneous systems on the Moon. In particular, she is interested in Moon rocks with unusual compositions.

Amanda Stadermann

Communications Lead

Amanda is a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center, where she characterizes Apollo samples using optical and electron beam techniques. She studies the geochemistry, petrology, and mineralogy of these lunar rocks to investigate further their origin and what they can tell us about the Moon's history.

Bram de Winter

Events Lead

Bram is a Dutch PhD student at the University of Oxford, UK. His research focuses on isotope fractionation in planetary bodies, including the Moon. He is an active member of voluntary organisations across Europe and in the Space Generation Advisory Council. He is excited to use his European network to extend NextGen to the European continent and connect lunar scientist/engineers in Europe and North-America.

Hunter Vannier


Hunter is a PhD Candidate at Purdue University who studies volcanic features on the Moon and Mars by combining lab and orbital spectroscopy. Outside of research he loves cooking, hiking, hockey, golfing, and gardening. 

Ananya Srivastava


Ananya is a passionate geologist and an aspiring planetary scientist, fueled by a profound curiosity for space exploration and a vision for an interplanetary existence of humans. She actively engages in outreach initiatives promoting lunar and planetary sciences to inspire and educate the public. In Fall 2023 she will start at Western University in the Geology PhD program.

At-Large Member

Daoru received his Ph.D. in Astronautical Engineering from University of Southern California (USC) in 2015.  Since 2017, he has been an Assistant Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Missouri S&T. His current research interests include computational plasma dynamics, space plasma interactions and space propulsion, and in-situ resource utilization for space exploration.

Lillian Ostrach

At-Large Member

Lillian is a planetary geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, AZ. Her research focuses broadly on planetary surface processes on the Moon and Mercury, including impact cratering process, volcanism, and geologic mapping. Her non-research hobbies include spending time outdoors with her family, reading, baking, and handcrafting.

Hannah O'Brien

At-Large Member

Hannah is a Lunar Curation Scientist and Processor in the Lunar Sample Laboratory at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. She is passionate about lunar science and exploration, and hopes to share that with others through her work with NextGen.

Divyareshmi Ravy

At-Large Member

Divya is a Ph.D. fellow specialising in lunar mare volcanism at the University of Manchester, UK. Other than looking at Moon rocks, she loves to read, illustrate, travel and eat.

Henal Bhatt

At-Large Member

Henal is a planetary geologist working as a Post Doctoral Associate on the LRO Diviner project at Stony Brook University, Department of Geosciences.

Emeritus Members

OC Founders

Banner Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
Astronaut Image Credit: NASA