As a CEO and Chief Designer, Dr Kunkel oversees the development of space weather program from building applications to  research and education in Heliosphere physics seeking to answer questions about the basic physical nature of the effect of the Sun on the Earth. 

Valbona's research experience has made groundbreaking studies of the dynamics of corona mass ejections (CMEs) and their evolution from the Sun to the Earth, both observationally and theoretically.  

The basic hypothesis of her research is that the magnetic field structure underlying CMEs is a magnetic flux rope embedded within and expanding through an ambient plasma medium. Together with her colleague Dr Alexis Rouillard she developed a new theoretical model for CME, HelioXM model. HelioXM model provides realistic simulations of the natural phenomena of CMEs.

Additionally, she published the first theoretical study of the dynamics of a CME observed by NASA’s twin STEREO spacecraft (Kunkel et al. 2010). Her goal is to develop a real time space weather prediction capability. 

Valbona has a PhD in Space Sciences and Computational Astrophysics from the George Mason University.