Christina McConville

Ph.D. candidate, Department of Chemistry


Christina’s research interests lie at the intersection of planetary science and physical chemistry, where she uses a variety of analytical techniques to study the chemistry of extraterrestrial bodies and, in turn, inform future planetary missions. Her current research focuses on analyzing the chemical behavior of small organic molecules found on Titan, Saturn’s moon, to improve our understanding of its surface composition in advance of the launch of Dragonfly, NASA’s mission to Titan scheduled for 2027. 


Christina was born and raised in Dallas, where she attended The Hockaday School before joining her three siblings at SMU to complete her undergraduate education. Upon graduating in 2018 with B.A.s in chemistry and physics, and a minor in mathematics, she began pursuing her Ph.D. in chemistry at SMU. In her second year, she earned funding for her doctoral work as a Future Investigator in NASA’s Earth and Space Science and Technology, a program that introduced her to the wonderful network of NASA collaborators with whom she continues to work with while finishing up her dissertation. In her free time, Christina enjoys anything that works her creativity muscles and/or involves spending quality time with her three cats.