- Dr Ken Williford, NASA JPL
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.
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.
OutcomesStudy 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.
You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.
Contact the supervisor for more information.