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Research Areas: Planetary Sciences (geochemistry, biology, geology). Microbial ecology in extreme environments.
Professional experience: For the past 4 years I have been involved in the study of micro-organisms in Mars analogue environments and in understanding water related geochemical processes on Mars. I am currently studying the survival strategies of micro-organisms inhabiting the interior of salt rocks in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and in frozen ground in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, as well as the survival of micro-organisms under extreme conditions simulated in the laboratory (sub-freezing temperatures, high radiation). In the past I have been involved in a wide range of research areas related to life and environmental sciences, including microbiology, physiology, geology and geophysics.
Professional History: I am currently a Principal Investigator at the Carl Sagan Center for the Search of Life in the Universe. Previously I did a 3 year postdoctorate in the Planetary and Space Science Division at the NASA Ames Research Center. I received my PhD in Geophysics by the University of Munich in 2005 in the study of biogenic magnetite in bacteria and higher organisms. I am a graduate on Marine Sciences by the University of Vigo (Spain).
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