I received my PhD from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in April 2022. I have accepted a postdoc in the Origins and Habitability Laboratory at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and will begin in late 2022.
I studied my PhD in The Australian Centre for Astrobiology at UNSW, and I hold a Master of Research with High Distinction in Earth and Planetary Science from Macquarie University. I have taught for several years at Macquarie University and UNSW, teaching astrobiology, science communication and geology. My research examines the search for life on Early Earth, Mars and elsewhere in the universe. My research combines Earth science with biology and organic chemistry to look at how signs of life (remnants of cells) get preserved in different environments. I have looked at fossils in Mars analogue environments in New Zealand, Western Australia, South Australia, Chile, and Yellowstone National Park in the USA.
The fossils that I work on in Western Australia have international importance as the oldest, most convincing evidence of early life on Earth, and are from the same age that Mars was warm and wet. I previously worked as a project manager for a field trip for NASA scientists to come to Australia and learn about these rocks from my PhD Supervisor Prof. Martin Van Kranendonk. For this trip, another PhD student and I co-created and co-facilitated, a student field trip that allowed 16 high school students to meet the NASA scientists and camp out by the site of the oldest fossils on Earth.
I work as the project officer for UNSW’s Online Learning and Innovation Community of Practice, where I work with the academic leads to inform and help guide online learning initiatives at UNSW.
I am the science communication officer for COALA, an agricultural technology initiative that performs research on the use of satellites to support Farmers in the Murray Darling Basin. As part of COALA I, along with a Professor from UNSW, worked with the NSW Department of Education to develop curriculum focused digital activities for Stage 5 agricultural technology.
I have also spent significant time mentoring students formally and informally. A highlight was mentoring four high school students through Brain Stem LTD. They developed the schematics for, and 3D printed, a research station on Titan, which they will be presenting at a domestic conference COSPAR-K, during science week. I also mentor students through the national Australian Science Innovation program Curious Minds.