I am currently undertaking a 5 year Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellowship host by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St. Andrews, transferring to Lecturer in Earth Sciences once this finishes. At St Andrews I am a Co-PI of the Geobiology Laboratory and a member of the new St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Science.
My fellowship research uses Mars field analogue and experimental research to develop the science and technology that forms the basis of current and future missions to Mars, including those with UK involvement. This includes: 1) investigating what microbial life resides in terrestrial environments that are similar to those on Mars; 2) unravelling how microbial life cycles elements such as carbon and sulfur; 3) identifying how this life is preserved within the geological record, and 4) how evidence of past microbial communities, and the habitable environments they once resided in, can be detected using rovers sent to explore the Martian surface.
In particular, I am interested in volcanic geothermal systems and how volcanism (including cryovolcanism) both drives and preserves microbial life within our Solar System. Regarding instrument development, I work on developing multispectral and UV fluorescence imaging systems that can be used to detect mineral deposits and biosignatures. More details about specific projects and my group can be found on the ‘Current Research‘ page.
Please feel free to contact me: crc9 AT st-andrews.ac.uk
After completing my undergraduate degree in Geology at Cardiff University, I undertook my PhD in Planetary Science at University College London. This work was highly multidisciplinary, and focused on utilising volcanic environments in Iceland, Svalbard, and Antarctica as Martian analogues. These environments were explored regarding their microbial diversity, biosignatures, and habitability. I have since worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Edinburgh within the UK Centre for Astrobiology, before winning my RSE personal research fellowship and taking up my current post at the University of St Andrews.