Contact Us
Department of Geology
Bryn Mawr College
101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: (610) 526-7392
Fax: (610) 526-5086

Selby Cull-Hearth

Assistant Professor

Bryn Mawr College

Geology Department

Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

130 Park Science Building

Phone: (610)526-5116

email: scull (at)

  • Assitant Professor, Bryn Mawr College (2011-present)
  • Ph.D. in Earth & Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis (2010)
  • M.S., Earth & Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis (2008)
  • M.S., Science Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2006)
  • B.A., Geology, Hampshire College (2005)
Research Interests:

Mars!  I study the mineralogy and geochemistry of the Martian surface, using data from satellites in orbit around Mars and robots landed on the surface.  My specialty is visible- to near-infrared (VNIR) spectroscopy, and I'm particularly interested in the role of salts and liquid water on modern Mars.  I've served on the science teams for the Mars Phoenix lander and the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer (CRISM). To better understand past Mars environments, I also study Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) systems on Earth. [More details]

Research Funding:
  • NASA Mars Data Analysis Grant #NNX15AM65G (2014-2016): "Spectral masking of acid-sulfate mixtures in abandoned mine drainage systems on earth and comparison to Mars spectral data.”
  • Bryn Mawr College Faculty Research Grant (2013-2014): "Earth Analogs for Acidic Environments on Mars: Investigating Acid Mine Drainage Sites”
  • Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (2012-2013): “Determining the porosity of Martian soil simulant in microgravity."

Five Selected Publications:

* = paper published with one or more undergraduate co-author(s). Co-authors from Bryn Mawr College (BMC) and Haverford College (HC) are indicated with their affliation and graduation year. [Full CV here]

  1. *Cull-Hearth, Selby, Alexis van Venrooy (BMC ’16), M. Caroline Clark (BMC ’16), Adriana Cvitkovic (HC ’16). (2016) Acid-sulfate spectral mixtures in natural samples from Río Tinto, Spain: Implications for Mars. Icarus, in press, available online January 2016.
  2. *Cull, Selby, Patrick McGuire, Christoph Gross, Jenna Myers (BMC ’14), Nina Shmorhun (BMC ’15) (2014) A new type of jarosite deposit on Mars: Evidence for past glaciation in Valles Marineris? Geology 42: 959-962.
  3. *Cull, Selby, Charles Cravotta, Chloe Weeks (BMC ’13), Julia Grace Klinges (HC ’14) (2014) Spectral masking of goethite in abandoned mine drainage systems: Implications for remote sensing and Mars. Earth & Planetary Science Letters 403: 217-224.
  4. *Cull, Selby, Erin Kennedy (BMC ’13), Alice Clark (HC ’12) (2014) Aqueous and Non-Aqueous Soil Processes on the Northern Plains of Modern Mars: Insights from the Distribution of Perchlorate Salts at the Phoenix Landing Site and in Earth Analog Environments. Planetary and Space Science 96: 29-34.
  5. McEwen, A, L Ojha, C Dundas, S Mattson, S Byrne, J Wray, Selby Cull, S Murchie, N Thomas, V Gulick (2011) Seasonal flows on warm Martian slopes. Science 333: 740.
Courses Taught at Bryn Mawr:

[full course descriptions here]

  1. GEOL 101 – How Earth Works
  2. GEOL 110 – Focus: Exploring Mars
  3. GEOL 202 – Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry + Lab
  4. GEOL 299 – Geology Field Short Course
  5. GEOL 302 – Low-Temperature Geochemistry
  6. GEOL 305 – Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
  7. GEOL 350 – Advanced Topics in Geology: Planetary Science
  8. GEOL 350 – Praxis: Acid Mine Drainage
  9. GEOL 350 – Petrotectonics (co-taught with Arlo Weil)
  10. GEOL 399 – Senior Seminar


View from one of my field sites: acid mine drainage in Rio Tinto, Spain!  Look at all those beautiful sulfates!

Related note: never ever step in slag ponds....