Title: Graduate Student
Research Summary: My broad research goals are to characterize modern terrestrial analogs for extinct or extant microbial life on the early Earth, Mars, and other potentially-habitable bodies within the Solar System. I currently study trace gas-oxidizing bacteria from a diverse range of environments, including the Antarctic Dry Valleys and Chilean hot springs. Utilizing traditional microbiology along with modern -omics and analytical chemistry techniques, I determine the microbial community compositions of soils from these sites and analyze their lipid profiles for biomarkers. I am particularly interested in the characterization of ether lipids such as GDGTs for their potential as biosignatures.
Keywords: environmental microbiology, astrobiology, lipids, bioinformatics