Onwards and upwards

Recently I started work on a 5 year Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Research Fellowship, co-funded by Marie Curie Actions. This is based within the UK Centre for Astrobiology at the University of Edinburgh, where I have been working as a postdoc over the summer. Over the next 5 years I will be using volcanic and hydrothermal environments in Iceland to help further the exploration of Mars, through understanding the biogeochemistry of these environments and how to best explore them using robotic technology.

Steaming vents at the Kverkfjoll volcano. The combination of volcanic activity and glacial ice produces localised, hydrothermal environments that are colonised by primitive microbes. Localities like this are similar to those that may have existed on Mars in the past, and can inform us about the biological processes that may have operated.

Steaming vents at the Kverkfjoll volcano. The combination of volcanic activity and glacial ice produces localised, hydrothermal environments that are colonised by primitive microbes. Localities like this are similar to those that may have existed on Mars in the past, and can inform us about the biological processes that may have once operated.

The cold and dry volcanic terrain in Iceland also provides an ideal testing ground for developing Mars-rover instrumentation.

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