Profiles


Graduate Student,
Earth and Space Sciences




Office: Johnson 262

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Space Exploration


Graduate Student,
Genome Sciences




Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Space Exploration


Research Assistant Professor,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: Johnson Hall 427
Phone: 267-304-3488

Box Number: Box 351310

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments, Habitability & Life on Mars


Postdoctoral Scholar,
Earth and Space Sciences

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments


Postdoctoral Scholar,
Earth and Space Sciences


Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Earth and Space Sciences

Box Number: University of Washington

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Habitability & Life on Mars


Graduate Student, Psychology,

Graduate Student, Chemistry,



Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth

Biography:

I'm interested in the role of primitive membranes during the origin of life on Earth.  My research focuses on the idea that membranes could act as organizing centers for other prebiotically available biomolecules (like amino acids), and potentially catalyze their polymerization.  Unlike many other theories for the origin of life, this model suggests a mechanism for the co-localization of all the major components of life, right from the earliest stages of protocell formation.


Graduate Student,
Astronomy




Office: PAB B333

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures, Education & Outreach

Biography:

Guadalupe is a graduate student working with Professor Victoria Meadows on the detection, characterisation, and habitability of terrestrial exoplanets. She uses photochemisty models to understand the atmospheres of terrestrial exoplanets and studies the feasibility of detecting biosignatures on these worlds with future next generation telescopes. 


Assistant Professor,
Oceanography




Office: OSB 513
Phone: (206) 543-0744

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:

Photosynthesis is an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Half of this photosynthesis occurs in the ocean by single-celled algae called phytoplankton.

The Young Lab investigates the physiological adaptations in phytoplankton to optimize their productivity. The aim is to better predict how phytoplankton productivity and thus their ability to capture carbon dioxide will respond to future change. There are two main research themes: (1) to identify and understand adaptations to extreme environments, such as the polar oceans, and (2) to examine the adaptation and co-evolution of the carbon fixing enzyme, Rubisco, and carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs). See here for more details.


Postdoctoral Research Associate,
Astronomy

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures

Homepage: kimbott.com

Postdoctoral Scholar,
Earth & Space Sciences

Office: JHN 243

Graduate Student,
Astronomy

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


Graduate Student,
Earth and Space Sciences




Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Life in Extreme Environments, Education & Outreach

Biography:

            Addien graduated with majors in marine science and integrative biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 2014. His interests lie in how geochemistry affects microbial community structure, particularly in extreme habitats, such as hydrothermal vents. This biogeochemical bent was first piqued while interning as an undergraduate in the Astrobiology Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Working with Prof. Drew Gorman-Lewis, Addien plans to continue in this vein of interdisciplinary and astrobiology-motivated research to study energy flow in systems under unique geochemical conditions and to understand the role microorganisms play and how they are affected by variations in those conditions. While not in the lab, Addien is an avid birder and competitive fencer and enjoys the rich environment for both available in Seattle.


Graduate Student,
Earth and Space Sciences

Office: JHN 423

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth


Graduate Student,
Oceanography

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments


Graduate Student,
Earth and Space Sciences




Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth

Biography:

Erik studies the atmospheric conditions of the early Earth using geological proxies.


Graduate Student, Oceanography,
Phone: 5404547754

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Life in Extreme Environments


Graduate Student,
Astronomy

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


Graduate Student,
Earth and Space Sciences


Program Administrator,
Astrobiology Program


Post Doctoral Scholar,
Physics - University of Melbourne

Ph.D., Physics, UW (2018),



Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


Graduate Student,
Physics




Office: Johnson Hall 240
Box Number: 351560

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Space Exploration

Biography:

Marshall studies Europa's interior structure by carefully analyzing its magnetic interactions with Jupiter. He uses detailed plasma simulations to connect differing models for the interior to what a spacecraft would measure during a flyby. Measurements from the Galileo spacecraft  and thermodynamics from PlanetProfile help him to constrain his models.


Graduate Student,
Earth and Space Science

Biography:


Graduate Student,
Atmospheric Sciences




Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments, Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures, Education & Outreach

Biography:

I am a PhD student in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences studying cloud-aerosol interactions and their implications for planetary climates. I am interested generally in the biological modification of planetary atmospheres, and in particular the role of bioaerosols in forming and modifying clouds and the potential role of clouds as aerobiological habitats. I am also interested in how clouds and aerosols affect planetary albedo, with implications ranging from the climate sensitivity to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing on Earth to the habitability (or inhabitability) of extrasolar planets.


Graduate Student,
Astronomy




Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures

Biography:

Andrew is a graduate student working with Professor Meadows on the habitability of exoplanets through the study of atmospheres using climate and photochemistry models. He is working to couple together VPL's new 1D radiative-convective-equilibrium climate model with a photochemistry model to study the atmospheric natures of terrestrial planets around M dwarf stars. He is focused mainly on the TRAPPIST-1 system, whose seven planets span from inward of the inner edge of the habitable zone to beyond the outer edge, enabling the study of planetary atmospheric evolution and habitability within a single system. Furthermore, the star is small (about the size of Jupiter), providing sufficient signal to be observed by the James Webb Space Telescope with the hope to characterize the planetary atmospheres. 

During summer of 2015, Andrew measured the pure rotational spectra of the rare stable isotopologues of Titanium Monoxide (TiO) at the University of Arizona with Professor Lucy Ziurys using the Ziurys group direct absorption millimeter wave spectrometer and their Fourier Transform microwave spectrometer. This required melting or laser ablation of high purity titanium with the presence of oxygen to form vapor-phase TiO. This is relevant for astrophysics because TiO is a potential nucleation particle for the formation of interplanetary dust and has been measured around the red supergiant VY Canis Majoris.

During summer of 2014, Andrew worked with Dr. Aki Roberge at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center on the Haystacks project for simulating exoplanet observations by working on the code for generating a high-resolution spectral image model of the Solar System. High-fidelity planetary system spectra, including the star, the planets, and the effects of dust, are important in understanding the requirements for future observing missions under development.


Graduate Student,
Astronomy

Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


Graduate Student,
Oceanography




Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:

I'm a graduate student at the University of Washington in Oceanography and Astrobiology. My interests focus on bacteria and bacteriophage viruses in extreme environments (sea ice in the Arctic and Southern oceans), and how knowledge of these bacteria informs the search for life on cold bodies in our solar system. I work in the Deming Lab at the UW, and in collaboration with a group of engineers and scientists at Caltech using microscopy for life detection

In addition to scientific research, I have an interest in science for both the public policy and outreach. I am interested in policy in the Arctic, how scientific research of the environment can inform decision making on international scales, and how we can apply lessons of international cooperation from regions like the Arctic to formulate policy for space.

You can follow more of what I do on my website, gmshowalter.com


Graduate Student,
Astronomy

Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


Graduate Student,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: Johnson 240

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Habitability & Life on Mars, Education & Outreach

Biography:

Peer-reviewd Publications

[3] Sholes, S.F., M.L. Smith, M.W. ClaireK.J. Zahnle, and D.C. Catling. 2017. "Anoxic Atmospheres on Mars Driven by Volcanism: Implications for Past Environments and Life." Icarus 290: 46 62. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.02.022

[2] Misra, A.J. Krissansen-Totton, M.C. Koehler, and S. Sholes. 2015. "Detecting Volcanism on Exoplanets using Transient Sulfate Aerosols." Astrobiology 15(6): 462-477. doi:10.1089/ast.2014.1204

[1] Thomas, P.C., W. Calvin, P. Gierasch, R. Haberle, P.B. James, and S. Sholes. 2013. "Time Scales of Erosion and Deposition Recorded in the Residual South Polar Cap of Mars." Icarus 225(2): 923:932. ​doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.08.038

 


Professor,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: JHN 435
Phone: 206-543-7615

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:

I study the composition and evolution of the Earth and early solar system by using stable isotope systematics measured by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS). Examples of current projects include:
-  Formation and differentiation of the Moon, Mars and other extraterrestrial bodies by studying isotopic compositions of lunar samples, Martian meteorites, chondrites and achondrites.
- Composition, differentiation and evolution of the bulk Earth/ major reservoirs through studies of isotopic compositions of peridotites, komatiites, basalts, arc lavas, granites and seawater.
- Global elemental cycling among hydrosphere, crust and mantle through isotopic studies of river water, sedimentary rocks, weathering profiles, seafloor alteration and metamorphic rocks.
- Geothermometry and geospeedometry through studies of equilibrium and kinetic isotope fractionation in igneous & metamorphic minerals, theoretical predications and lab experiments.
- Paleoceanography and paleoclimate through isotopic and elemental studies of coral samples, speleothem, loess and lake sediments.
- Studies of isotope fractionation during biogenic processes through laboratory experiments and by using natural samples

Prof. Teng is currently accepting new students!

Current Students:
Aaron Brewer
 


Graduate Student,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: JHN 240

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures


Graduate Student,
Astronomy




Office: B337

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures, Education & Outreach


Professor,
Aeronautics & Astronautics




Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Space Exploration

Biography:

Professor James C. Hermanson received a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics from the University of Washington in 1977.  Subsequently he was an Engineer with Boeing Aerospace Company.  He performed his graduate studies at the California Institute of Technology, earning a Master of Science in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1985, both in Aeronautics.  Dr. Hermanson was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institut für Physikalische Chemie at the Universität Göttingen, in Göttingen, Germany.  Other professional experience includes the Boeing Aerospace Company in Kent, WA, United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, CT. and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA.  Professor Hermanson has been with the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the University of Washington since 2002, where he holds the rank of Professor and currently serves as the Chair of the Department. 

Professor Hermanson and his research groups are known for their work in compressible flow, combustion and two-phase flows.  His research in compressible flow has involved the study of the penetration and structure of gas-phase and supercritical-fluid transverse jets in supersonic flow, the instability and mixing associated with shock wave passage through turbulent vortex rings and jets, fuel droplet disruption in supersonic flow, and mixing enhancement in compressible flow by lobed mixers.  His work in combustion has included turbulent shear layer mixing and combustion, the stability and emissions of premixed and partially premixed turbulent flames, and the turbulent structure and emissions of strongly-pulsed, turbulent jet diffusion flames in normal- and microgravity.  Multi-phase flow research conducted by Prof. Hermanson’s group has examined condensing and evaporation films and the development of ultrasound diagnostics for film thickness measurement. 

Professor Hermanson's astrobiology-related interests include spaceflight, orbital mechanics and thermodynamics as related to planetary environments. 

Professor Hermanson is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Hermanson also served as Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal from 1998 to 2002.  In 2004 Dr. Hermanson received a best paper award for his work in microgravity combustion of pulsed, turbulent jet diffusion flames.  He was holder of the George I. Alden Chair in Engineering at WPI from 1999-2002 and received an NSF CAREER Award in 1998.  Hermanson is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and conference papers.


Professor,
Environmental & Forest Sciences




Box Number: 352100

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:

Sharon Doty graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. degree in Genetics in 1989. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Washington in 1995 with Prof. Gene Nester, studying Agrobacterium plant signal perception and responses. She did postdoctoral research in plant biochemistry with Prof. Milt Gordon in the UW Biochemistry Dept., focusing on developing improved phytoremediation of organic pollutants.

She joined the faculty of the UW College of Forest Resources in 2003 and is currently an Associate Professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences in the College of the Environment. Professor Doty is interested in plant microbiology including nitrogen fixation in non-legumes, remediation of pollutants using plants, and biochemical production.

Recently, there has been a proliferation in research on endophytes, the microorganisms living fully within plants. Some endophytes are diazotrophic (nitrogen-fixing). It is now clear that these diazotrophic endophytes function in a wide range of plants across the globe. These discoveries point to a hitherto unexplored diversity of microbial life critical to the growth of plants in low-nutrient areas. Currently, plants are classified as “N-fixing” only if they have root nodules. By missing the important contributions of diazotrophic endophytes, it is not possible to make accurate assessments of terrestrial dinitrogen fixation. Furthermore, it has long been assumed that plants rely purely on specific genetic traits for successful adaptations to high temperature, salt, drought, low nutrients, etc. Recent evidence, however, points to symbiosis with microbial partners as a critical mechanism for the ability of plants to colonize and to thrive in challenging environments.

For a list of recent publications see our website.


Graduate Student, M.S.,
Aeronautics & Astronautics

Box Number: 351510

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Habitability & Life on Mars, Space Exploration


Assistant Professor,
Astronomy

Office: PAB B376
Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures

Biography:

Prof. Barnes is accepting new students!

Current Students:
David Fleming
Hayden Smotherman
Rudy Garcia

Past Students:
Russell Detrick
Rodrigo Luger
 


Research Professor,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: BHB 509
Box Number: 355640

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments, Habitability & Life on Mars

Biography:
Dr. Winebrenners' interests are in the physics of light and radio waves, and in the exploration of icy environments on Earth and elsewhere based on that physics.
 
For sea ice, he has developed a physically based method to observe the springtime melting and fall freeze-up transitions on Arctic sea ice using synthetic aperture radar, and has shown that polarimetric microwave backscattering from thin sea ice depends on ice thickness and thus may be useful for remote thickness estimation. Recently he has investigated the optical fluorescence from chlorophyll in sea ice, with the aim of estimating phototrophic biomass near the ice-water interface. Microwave emissions are used to map (decadal-scale) mean surface temperature and accumulation rate fields, for ice sheet on both Greenland and Antarctica. 
 
Most recently, Dale Winebrenner has begun to investigate meter-wavelength radar sounding of ice sheets. The first result of this work is a new means of estimating electromagnetic absorption within the ice sheet.


Professor,
Astronomy




Office: PAB B380
Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures

Biography:

Prof. Quinn's research interests include: planetary dynamics, small body dynamics, formation and evolution of planetary systems, and the influence of galactic dynamics on planetary system structure.


Professor ,
Earth & Space Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Oceanography



Office: JHN 433
Box Number: 351510

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:

 

Bruce Nelson is professor in Earth & Space Sciences, and adjunct professor in the School of Oceanography. He is PI of the Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, which includes mass spectrometry for high-precision analyses of radiogenic and stable isotope ratios, and clean labs for sample processing.

 

Bruce’s research interests include origin and evolution of continental crust, seafloor hydrothermal processes, and geochemical evolution of the earth’s mantle. He measures variations in trace element concentrations and long-lived radiogenic isotopes (e.g., Pb, Nd, Sr, Hf) to investigate early earth evolution, and fractionation of non-traditional stable isotopes (e.g., Cu, Zn, Fe, Mg) to investigate low temperature geochemical and biological processes.


Director,
UW Astrobiology Program

Professor, Astronomy



Office: PAB B374
Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures, Space Exploration

Biography:

Dr. Meadows is a Professor with the Astronomy Department and Director of the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington. She is also the Principal Investigator for the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory Lead Team. She has a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of New South Wales, and a Ph.D. in Physics from the Astrophysics Department of the University of Sydney.

Dr. Meadows’ primary research interests are in the challenging area of using modeling and observations to determine how to recognize whether a distant extrasolar planet is able to harbor life. Her NAI Virtual Planetary Laboratory team develops innovative computer models that can be used to understand the terrestrial planet formation process, test planetary dynamical stability and orbital evolution, and simulate the environment and spectra of present day and early Earth, other Solar System planets, and plausible extrasolar terrestrial environments. This research group can assess the stability and habitability of newly discovered planetary systems and use their models to produce simulated data for extrasolar planet environments, to assist the design and development of future NASA planet detection and characterization missions.

In addition to her astrobiology research, Dr. Meadows remains a planetary astronomer, and her research interests also encompass remote-sensing observations and radiative transfer modeling of the lower atmosphere and clouds of Venus, the variable Earth, spectra of Titan and Neptune’s atmospheres, and the impacts of Comet SL-9 with Jupiter.

Prof. Meadows is accepting new students!

Current Students:
Jacob Lustig-Yaeger
Andrew Lincowski
Miles Currie

Past Students:
Tyler Robinson
Amit Misra
Aomawa Shields
Giada Arney
Eddie Schwieterman
Lupita Tovar


Karl M. Banse Endowed Professor,
Oceanography




Office: MSB 370
Phone: 206-543-0845

Box Number: 357940

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:

Jody W. Deming earned her Ph.D. in (marine) Microbiology from the University of Maryland (1981), after a B.A. in Biological Sciences cum laude from Smith College (1974). She developed microbial life detection assays for NASA between degree programs (1974–1977). She then received NSF and NOAA postdoctoral fellowships for deep-sea research (1981–1983) at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Johns Hopkins University. She continued research at Johns Hopkins, including Alvin dives at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, until moving to the University of Washington in 1988, where she is Professor in the School of Oceanography. At UW, she has directed the Marine Bioremediation Program (1992–1999), launched the Center for Environmental Genomics, helped establish the nation’s first graduate training program in Astrobiology (1998–present), and directed the Future of Ice Initiative (2014–2015). She and her students currently explore microbial life in the Arctic Ocean and its sea-ice cover. She chaired the International Arctic Polynya Program (2000–2012) and served on the US Polar Research Board during the International Polar Year (2007–2009) and as chief scientist on international, overwintering icebreaking expeditions (2003–2004, 2008–2009). She counts over 50 seagoing or ice-related expeditions during her career. Among her awards are the US Coast Guard Arctic Service Medal (1993), Honorary Doctorate in Science and Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec City (2006), Walters Endowed Professorship (2009–2016), Hasselblad Guest Professor, University of Göteburg, Sweden (2015), and Karl M. Banse Endowed Professorship (2016– present). She is Editor-in-Chief of the Ocean Science domain of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, a member of the American Academy of Microbiology (elected 1999) and of the US National Academy of Sciences (elected 2003). She loves to swim, in salty water.

 


Professor,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: JHN 325
Box Number: 351510

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Habitability & Life on Mars, Space Exploration

Biography:
After a doctorate in the Dept. of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics at the University of Oxford, England, I worked as a planetary scientist near San Francisco at NASA’s Ames Research Center from 1995-2001. In 2001, I joined the faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle.
 
I also had a stint as European Union Marie Curie Chair in Earth and Planetary System Science at the University of Bristol, England, from 2005-2008, while also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington. Currently, I'm a Professor jointly appointed to the Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences and cross-campus Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington.
 
My research interests revolve around understanding the co-evolution of planetary atmospheres, planetary surfaces, and life. This includes collecting and interpreting data from other planets and the Earth. A key goal is to understand the habitability of planets in general. I have also been involved in NASA’s exploration of Mars and was part of a 35-person team of scientists responsible for NASA’s Phoenix Mission, a probe that landed and operated successfully in the northern polar region of Mars in 2008. 
 
I am author of the book, Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction-- a readable and up-to-date summary of the subject. I also have co-written a technical book aimed at researchers and PhD students entitled Atmospheric Evolution on Inhabited and Lifeless Worlds.
For more info on research, check out my publications.
 
Prof. Catling is currently accepting new students!
 
Current Students:
Steven Sholes


Professor,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: JHN 335
Box Number: 351510

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth

Biography:

I am interested in the origin and earliest evolution of life on Earth and how that can be used as an analogue for life elsewhere in the Universe. My research techniques lie at the intersection of geology, biology and chemistry, examining the oldest and best-preserved rocks available. This involves fieldwork in the Australian outback, on the Greenland ice-cap, the South African veld and in the Canadian woods, amongst other places.

Examples of current projects include:

 

Early evolution of bacterial metabolism palaeontology and stable isotope geochemistry of Archaean sedimentary rocks, with the aim of determining when the main forms of microbial metabolism first arose and whether this caused environmental change in the atmosphere and oceans.

Early atmospheric composition and pressure - studying detrital heavy minerals in Archaean fluvial sandstones, raindrop imprints in ancient terrestrial sediments, and vesicle size in ancient basalt flows emplaced at sea-level, with the aim of determining whether the atmospheric greenhouse effect was modulated by carbon dioxide or some other gas in order to counteract the weaker solar luminosity during Earth's early history.

Secular trends in marine nutrient fluxes and their ecological impact - phosphorus and nitrogen geochemistry in sedimentary rocks through time, with the aim of better quantifying oceanic fluxes and budgets for these elements, identifying temporal trends in their sources and sinks, and determining whether these reflect or influenced ecosystem evolution.

Early evolution of continental crust - trace-element and radiogenic-isotope geochemistry of basalts ~3.5 billion years old across an ancient unconformity in the Pilbara Craton, Australia, with the aim of contraining the primordial growth rate of continental crust, the tectonic environments of the early Earth and the biological impacts of crustal differentiation.

Molecular fossils from early Precambrian rocks - organic geochemistry of well-preserved Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic hydrocarbons and kerogen, with the aim of discovering organic geochemical biomarkers that constrain the phylogenetic history of microbial ecosystems.

Prof. Buick is currently accepting new students!

Current Students:
Michael Kipp
Jana Meixnerova
 

Past Students:
Jelte Jarnmeijer
Sanjoy Som
Eva Stueeken
Matthew Koehler
Erik Goosmann
 


Professor,
Earth & Space Sciences




Office: ATG 220
Box Number: 351510

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth

Biography:

The overwhelming majority of Earth's interior is not accessible to direct sampling or observation. Most of our understanding is based on remote sensing techniques (e.g., seismology). To interpret such observations, it is essential to have complimentary laboratory measurements. In our High-Pressure Mineral Physics Laboratory, we have an interdisciplinary program involving a variety of experimental and theoretical approaches. We seek an understanding of Earth based on an atomic-level understanding of constituent minerals. The underlying goal is an understanding of the thermal and compositional state of the Earth's interior and its contribution to observed dynamical behavior. Current high pressure/high temperature work includes:

(1) measurement of elastic constants and thermal diffusivities of mineral under mantle conditions,

(2) studies of equations of state and viscosities of fluids, and

(3) measurements of elastic constants of metals under conditions approaching Earth's core. These data provide a comprehensive framework for the understanding of how Earth and other planets work.
 


Professor,
Atmospheric Sciences




Office: ATG 502
Phone: 206 543 1339

Box Number: 351640

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures

Biography:

Cecilia's research focus is on climate and climate change in the high latitudes on Earth, especially involving the cryosphere. She uses a variety of models for her research, from simple reduced models to sophisticated earth-system models. She has worked with several Astrobiology students to teach them about climate modeling and conduct simulations relevant for Earth's deep past and exoplanet climates.


Professor,
Oceanography




Office: MSB 260
Box Number: 357940

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Origin & Evolution of Life on Earth, Life in Extreme Environments

Biography:
John Baross is a Professor in Oceanography and the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington. He specializes in the ecology, physiology, and taxonomy of microorganisms from hydrothermal vent environments, and the use of biochemical and molecular methods to detect, quantify, and classify the same.
 
John has particular interests in the microbial ecology of extreme environments, the biotechnological applications of microorganisms that grow in extreme environments, astrobiology, and in the significance of submarine hydrothermal vent environments for the origin and evolution of life. The novel environment and microbes present at Lost City are of great interest to John and his laboratory group. Samples recovered from this field offer potential for new discoveries and insights into life in the extreme environments of hydrothermal vents.


Professor,
Astronomy




Office: PAB B370
Box Number: 351580

Astrobiology Areas of Interest: Exoplanets: Detection, Habitability, & Biosignatures

Biography:
Eric Agol studies transits of extrasolar planets, for which he has created a widely used modeling code and helped originate the idea of detecting and characterizing planets using transit time variations.
He is a former member of the Kepler team, with which he led the discovery and characterization a closely orbiting super-Earth and mini-Neptune (Kepler 36), and he helped to characterize two circumbinary planet systems, including the first two-planet system orbiting a binary star (Kepler 38 and 47).
He first postulated the possibility of long-lived habitable planets around white dwarf stars (if they could form or migrate inward, and retain volatiles). He is also interested in atmospheric modeling of hot jupiters, coronagraphic imaging, radial velocity surveys, and mapping of extrasolar planets (using their time-dependent variation).  He has recently helped to characterize the Earth-sized transiting exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 system.