Status Report

Astrobiology Career Opportunity at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

By SpaceRef Editor
May 27, 2022
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Astrobiology Studies of Hydrothermal Vents on Earth & Ocean Worlds

Dr. Laurie Barge, Research Scientist in Astrobiology, is seeking a postdoc to work on astrobiology and geochemistry research at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Samples from hydrothermal chimneys were acquired from Axial Seamount on a 2021 research cruise; the postdoc will conduct geochemical analysis of these samples to address astrobiology research questions related to life detection. A focus of the work will be utilizing Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy which is part of an instrument payload we are studying for ocean world mission applications. The candidate will also conduct laboratory simulations of prebiotic chemistry in hydrothermal mineral systems. The candidate will lead completion of specific tasks for ongoing projects and will also have the opportunity to develop their own research plans.

Required qualifications: Candidates should have a PhD in geology, geochemistry, oceanography, or related fields. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about astrobiology and in being a collaborative member of a lab group that studies how life emerges and thrives in planetary environments. The ideal candidate will bring expertise in hydrothermal geochemistry and be familiar with oceanography literature. The project involves working with valuable samples collected from the field, so sample handling skills (contamination awareness, curation / organizational skills) are crucial.

Desired qualifications: Experience with geochemistry analytical techniques, particularly ion chromatography; willingness to become proficient in LIBS. 


SpaceRef staff editor.