I am a geobiologist interested in learning how microorganisms leave recognizable structures in rocks. To better constrain this problem, I investigate 1) how organizations of living microbial communities emerge from, influence, and respond to environmental cues and 2) how cellular materials fossilize with amorphous silica/minerals as well as the various pathways leading to their degradation.
My approach to solving these problems are field- and laboratory-based. On one hand, I travel around the world to environments where microbial fossils are still found in the making. On the other hand, I run experiments in the lab to precisely pinpoint the mechanisms. At MIT, I specifically focus on exploring environments in early Earth and Mars, where relevant signatures of life can be preserved and understood.