Study level

PhD

Faculty/School

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr David Flannery
Position
Lecturer, Earth and Planetary Sciences
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science
Dr Patrick Hayman
Position
Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science

External supervisors

  • Dr Ken Williford, NASA JPL

Overview

NASA's newest Mars rover, Perseverance, has just arrived on the red planet. Tasked with searching for ancient life in the geological record of a ~4 billion-year-old crater lake, the mission science team must use our only available analogue - the Earth - as their guide to exploration.

Research activities

You will perform extensive geological fieldwork in order to model a 3 billion-year-old river and lake system in remote Western Australia.

Facies analysis, including the taphonomy of microbial biosignatures, will yield insights into the nature of early-evolving ecosystems on Earth and guide the search for life on Mars. You may have an opportunity to join a global research team and influence the operations of spacecraft on Mars.

Outcomes

Study of this ancient habitable environment will inform the development of exploration strategies for Mars rovers.

Skills and experience

A combination of field, laboratory and desktop studies will be undertaken. This is part of a larger collaborative project.

A strong interest in the subject and a background in field geology is required. You will need to work independently.

Scholarships

You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information.