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NASA Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award 2015

Status Report From: NASA Astrobiology
Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award offers research-related travel support for undergraduate, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior scientists. Applicants are encouraged to use these resources to circulate among two or more laboratories supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program (the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology, Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research, MatiSSE, PICASSO and the Habitable Worlds Programs), however any travel that is critical for the applicant's research will be considered.

Travelers must be formally affiliated with a U.S. institution. Requests are limited to $5,000, and are accepted with yearly deadlines of April 1 and October 1.

How to Apply

To be considered for an Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award, please submit the following material to Melissa Kirven-Brooks at Melissa.Kirven-Brooks@nasa.gov

  • the team(s) and researchers you plan to visit
  • the approximate dates of travel
  • a brief description of the research you plan to conduct at the hosting laboratory (include, for example, any technique you expect to learn, or equipment you will need to use) and how the collaboration is relevant to your research
  • a budget describing what funds are required, and
  • letters of recommendation from your faculty advisor and from the researcher(s) you plan to visit

2015 Selections for the Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award

Daniel Angerhausen, Goddard Space Flight Center
Collaborate with Antonio Garca Muoz (ESA Scientific Support Office) and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) team, and with Andrea Chiavassa (CNRS) and members of the Thermodynamics, Disequilibrium and Evolution (TDE) Focus Group.

Zach Grochau-Wright, University of Arizona
Travel to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County to work with Dr. Stephen Miller on his project, Evolution of the Genetic Basis for Cellular Differentiation in the Volvocine Green Algae.

Peter Ilhardt, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Visit James Moran, at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, to examine microstructures in a Neoarchaean stromatolite using Laser Ablation Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (LA-IRMS).

Joshua KrissansenTotton, University of Washington
Travel to Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) to meet with Avi Mandell and Shawn Domagal-Goldman, members of the Virtual Planetary Laboratory team and Harley Thronson's study team, for mission planning for the next generation of space telescopes to search for life on exoplanets.

Kira Lorber, University of Cincinnati
Collaborate with diversity and evolution of early fossil microorganisms as she travels to work with Kenneth Williford at JPL and John Valley at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Jeff Osterhout, University of Cincinnati
Travel to work with Kenneth Williford at JPL and John Valley at the University of Wisconsin, Madison to perform in situ carbon isotope analyses of microfossils.

Ben Placek, Schenectady County Community College
Work with an international team of collaborators through the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) on the application of Bayesian methods to the analysis of the Kepler light curves of transiting exoplanets.

Natasha Batalha, Goddard Space Flight Center and Pennsylvania State University
Collaborate with Nikku Madhusdan (University of Cambridge) and identify, optimize and apply atmospheric retrieval tools to analyze JWST transit simulations and observing modes.

Rafael Loureiro, Ave Maria University
Visit Drs. Lynn Rothschild and Ivan Paulino-Lima, at NASA Ames Research Center, to generate a prediction model capable of identifying potentially habitable zones in exoplanets.

Lynnae Quick, Goddard Space Flight Center and Planetary Science Institute
Visit Drs. Mary Schweitzer and Reza Ghiladi, at North Carolina State University, to investigate Porphyrins and Tetrapyrroles as Biomarkers for Extraterrestrial Life.

Lauren Seyler, Michigan State University
Travel to the University of Southern California (Jan Amend) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Michael Russell) on her project, Microbial Community Structuring and Metabolite Efflux in Prebiotic Hydrothermal Bioreactors

Svetlana Shkolyar, Arizona State University
Travel to the lab of Dr. Michael Daly, York University, Toronto, Canada, in support of her project Raman Spectroscopy for Fossil Biosignature and Mineral Identification on Mars: Challenges and Pathways Forward for Mars Sample Return Missions.

2014 Selections for the Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award

Metthieu Galvez, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Working with Craig Manning at UCLA on The solubility of rocks in metamorphic fluids: A model for rock-dominated conditions to upper mantle pressure and temperature

Pedro Montalvo Jimenez, University of Puerto Rico
Working with John Valley at the University of Wisconsin on Identification of Detrital Shocked Minerals

Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Travel to the Mauna Kea Observatory to work with Steve Howell (NASA ARC), to the Lowell Observatory to work with Evgenya Shkolnik and to the University of California, Santa Cruz to work with Jonathan Fortney, in support of her project, Modeling exoplanet atmospheres/stellar composition.

Xiangli Wang, Yale University
Working with Mukul Sharma at Dartmouth College, examining Time constraints on the origin of oxygenic photosynthesis.

Dylan Wilmeth, University of Southern California
Travel to University of Johannesburg, to work with Nicolas Beukes Investigating local oxygenation of a Neoarchean lake environment, South Africa

Giada Arney, University of Washington
Working with Shawn Domagal-Goldman at the Goddard Space Flight Center, "Observer Simulations for Future Exoplanet-Related Missions".

Paul Brandon Carroll, California Institute of Technology
Working with Brett McGuire of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, at the Parkes Radio Telescope, on the "Origin of the Homochirality Of Life".

Jemma Davidson, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Travel to visit Dr. A. L. David Kilcoyne, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Light Source Synchrotron, in support of her project, Spectral Analyses of Extraterrestrial Organic Matter

Michael Line, University of California, Santa Cruz
Working with Victoria Meadows at the University of Washington, to determine the detection significances of molecules in hot-Jupiter atmospheres, and to set up an atmospheric retrieval pipeline, and with Mark Swain, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to refine the mission specifications and goals of the FINESSE mission.

Eric Parker, Georgia Institute of Technology
Travel to work with Jason Dworkin at the Goddard Space Flight Center, "Investigating Geochemical Condition of the early Earth"

Mary Beth Wilhelm, Georgia Institute of Technology
Travel to work with Jennifer Eigenbrode at the Goddard Space Flight Center and Roger Summons at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to study Lipid Biomarker Preservation in the Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert.

2013 Selections for the Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award

Zachary R. Adam, Montana State University
Will travel to the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA to learn new tools to incorporate a newly discovered fossil assemblage from 1.5 billion-year-old rocks in Montana into a framework for the early evolution of eukaryotes on Earth.

Rebecca Mickol, University of Arkansas
Will travel to the University of Florida Space Life Sciences Laboratory at the Kennedy Space Center to conduct experiments with anaerobic methanogens in the Mars Simulation Chamber of Dr.Andrew Schuerger and also collaborate with Dr. Wayne Nicholson.

Harry Oduro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Will collaborate with James Farquhar, at the University of Maryland, College Park, on distinguishing the origin of sulfur isotope anomalies in Archean and meteoritic organic sulfonic acids

Sarah Sonnett, University of Hawaii
Will participate in an observing run on the 6.5-meter Magellan Baade telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, to test models that look at volatiles and their distribution in the outer solar system.

Michael Chaffin, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder
Travel to the Laboratoire Atmosphres, Milieux, Observations Spatiales, to work with Franck Montmessin, CNRS Senior Scientist "Collaborating with LATMOS in Extending Analysis of Martian Water Escape"

Dalton Hardisty, University of California, Riverside
Travel to the laboratories of Zunli Lu, Syracuse University and David Johnston, Harvard University, "Evaluating trace oxygen production prior to the Great Oxidation Event using a novel combination of rare sulfur isotope fractionations and iodine-to-calcium ratios in well-preserved Archean carbonate rocks"

Roy Price, Stony Brook University
Travel to New Caledonia for "Exploration of a shallowsea serpentinitehosted Lost City analog".

2012 Selections for the Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award

Jeremy Owens, University of California, Riverside
Travel to Harvard University to conduct research in the laboratory of David Johnston.

Laura Rodriguez, Rice University
Travel to the Mojave and Atacama Deserts to conduct research with Alfonso Davila.

Sandra Siljestrm, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Travel to NASA Ames Research Center and Yellowstone National Park, to collaborate with Linda Jahnke and Niki Parenteau.

2011 Selections for the Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award

Betl Arslan, Georgia Institute of Technology
Travel to Michigan State to conduct research with Richard Lenski

Amy Kelly, University of California, Riverside
Travel to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to conduct research with Timothy Lyons and Gordon Love.

Rachel Maxwell, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona
Visit to Lutterzand (the Netherlands), Lommel (Belgium), and St. Petersburg (Russia) to collect Late Pleistocene sediments that may record an extraterrestrial (ET) impact.

Daniel Christian, Old Dominion University
To conduct two weeks of fieldwork in the 2.7 Ga old Tumbiana Formation, Western Australia and search for sedimentary microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) that have been caused by very early microbial mats.

Wil Leavitt, Harvard University
Travel to Portugal to conduct enzyme kinetic analyses of isolated dissimilatory sulfate reductases.

2010 Selections for the Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award

Meredith Perry
Proterozoic Stromatolites and The Search for Life on Mars

The structure and chemical layering of Proterozoic stromatolites in the Mojave Desert

Erin Yargicoglu
2010 Astrobiology Survey of Springs in the North Anatolian Fault Zone: Windows into the deep terrestrial biosphere

Weifu Guo, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Two trips to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California to conduct research in the laboratory of Lance Christensen.

Amy Kelly, University of California, Riverside
Travel to Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona to conduct research with Ariel Anbar.

Anna Roussanova, University of Hawaii
Participation in the Saas-Fee Winter School on Habitability, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland.

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