The Astrobiogeochemistry Laboratory (abcLab) is interested in exploring molecular and mineralogical biosignatures in ancient and recent Earth samples to provide evidence of early signs of life. Currently, in the abcLab, scientists are utilizing a lipid biomarker extraction and analysis method to remove organic material from geologic samples taken from several sites around the world including Australia, the United States and West Wales. This study focuses primarily on samples collected from the Mochras borehole on the Cardigan Bay Basin, West Wales, dating back to the Early Jurassic to identify biomarkers such as hopanes (derived from prokaryotes) and steranes (derived from eukaryotes) to reconstruct an ancient ecosystem. It is anticipated that this lipid biomarker extraction procedure will be used for the research conducted on the geologic samples sent back to Earth from the Mars 2020 Rover Mission set to launch in the summer of 2020.


Biology | Life Sciences


Michael Tuite

Lab site

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Funding Acknowledgement

This work is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research was also made possible by the California State University STEM Teacher and Researcher Program, in partnership with NASA. Special thanks to my mentor Michael Tuite and the STAR Teacher Researcher Program.

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/560


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