I studied Geology with Planetary Science as an undergraduate at the University of Manchester. I then studied exoplanets in a MSc at the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy.
In the final year of my undergraduate degree I analysed sub-micron sized silicon carbide pre-solar grains from the Murchison meteorite using a NanoSIMS, time of flight MS, and electron microscopy. The exoplanet research involved the creation of a probability model to forecast exo-host stellar parameters, and analysis of the effect of stellar tides on the planetary orbits during the end states of the host star.
My research centres on the boundary conditions for the formation of life and complex chemistry in the solar system with reference to the NASA and ESA missions to Mars and the water worlds of Jupiter and Saturn. I am interested in the effects of extreme conditions on the self assembly of biological molecules.
I will be using structural studies such as neutron diffraction, as well as UV/Vis, fluorescence and differential scanning calorimetry to measure the effects of analogue Martian and solar system environments on pre-biotic solutions. Robitic studies of Mars have discovered perchlorates in the surface layers of the Mars, whilst probes have analysed the composition of plumes escaping Enceladus. I am interested in studying how the effect of perchlorates and salts affects the self-assembly of bio-molecules, and whether the saline waters associated with Mars, Enceladus and Europa could host life.
Experiments using neutron diffraction and emperical potential structure refinement will allow me to measure the effects of solutes on water and how water co-operates with bio-molecules to influence the form and structure of biological molecules.
My research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
- 2020. MSc by Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics
- 2018. BSc Geology with Planetary Science