I co-lead the Origins and Habitability Laboratory at JPL. Visit our website for more details about our research, lab news, and facilities.
Interested in an internship? I take several summer interns each year, but also prefer year-round interns who work part time while going to school. I typically fill my summer intern positions in the fall (October - November), and it is not unusual for people to contact me more than a year in advance. If interested, email me and tell me about your research interests and why you want to work with me in particular.
Below are the OHL lab members currently working on projects that I supervise.
Erika is completing her Master's degree in Environmental Engineering at CSU Los Angeles, and has a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona. She is working on prebiotic organic synthesis and phosphorus absorption in hydrothermal systems.
Sarah is a Master’s student in Geology at Kansas State University, interested in laser spectroscopy, spatial geochemistry, and mineralogy. She is working with the OHL on deconvoluting the geochemical signatures of metastable minerals relevant for life in Mars and ocean floor environments using LIBS and Raman.
Laura Rodriguez earned her B.S. in Geochemistry at Rice University before obtaining her Ph.D. in Geosciences and Astrobiology at Penn State. Laura is a JPL Postdoctoral Researcher working on hydrothermal vent geochemistry, phosphorus chemistry in planetary systems, and is part of the INVADER vent exploration project.
Tess is a second year biology Ph.D. student at Caltech. She studies the origin of metabolism, particularly reactions of simple organic molecules with minerals in ocean world analog environments, and is interested in possible metabolisms that might exist on ocean worlds.
Medha is pursuing a BS in Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia. She is working with the OHL and Prof. Yuk Yung (Caltech) on carbon reduction reactions in planetary environments, relating to understanding methane on Mars and prebiotic chemistry in early Earth settings.
Jessica Weber earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT and a B.S. in Chemistry from U of Chicago. Jessica is a JPL Postdoctoral Researcher exploring how protein cofactors behave under early Earth conditions.
Eduardo is a Master’s student in Civil Engineering at Cal State LA. He is working with us on making simulated hydrothermal vent chimneys in the lab, and studying nitrate and phosphate adsorption on iron hydroxides.
Rachel completed her BA in Earth Science at Columbia University studying organic molecules in fault rocks and completed her PhD in Earth & Planetary Science at Brown University studying how water-bearing minerals record aqueous conditions on Earth and Mars. She is a postdoc working on redox gradients in the martian subsurface, and is a member of the MSL science team.
|Name||Year||Project||Academic Programs||Current position|
|Jonathan Major||2017 - 2020||Phosphorus chemistry||M.S., Geoscience, University of Tulsa||Ph.D. student, U. of South Florida|
|Michelle Hooks||2017 - 2019||Chemical gardens||Education and Biology - USC||NASA Johnson Space Center|
|Ninos Hermis||2017 - 2020||Electrochemistry / hydrothermal chimneys||M.S., Physics and Geology - CSU-LA||Ph.D. student, LMU-Munich|
|Hiroki Nishumura||2018||Organic / phosphorus adsorption on iron minerals||Marine Science - Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology||Graduate Student|
|Jason Pagano||2018-2019||Chemical gardens||Professor, Saginaw Valley State U. - sabbatical visitor at JPL||Associate Professor of Chemistry|
|Jemma Dickson||2019||Microbes in hydrothermal vent chimneys||Chemistry and marine science - College of the Atlantic||Undergraduate student|
|Thora Maltais||2017||Origin of metabolism||JPL postdoc (Ph.D. Purdue - Chemistry)||JPL Contamination Control Engineer|
|Sarah Crucilla||2019||Origin of metabolism||Caltech - Geology|
|Ryan Cameron||2016-2017||Carbon fixation||Tulsa Community College; CSU Northridge||Landscape management|
|Yeghegis Abedian||2013-2017||Electrochemistry of chimneys; phosphorus chemistry||UC San Diego - Nanoengineering||Shire Pharmaceuticals|
|Arden Hammer||2016 summer||Hydrothermal organics and minerals||Oberlin College - Chemistry||Undergraduate student at Oberlin|
|Timothy Lin||2015, 2013 summers||Carbon fixation||UC Riverside - Biology||Medical student at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center|
|Arlette Valencia||2015 summer||Metastable minerals, green rust||Citrus College||Undergraduate student at Oregon Institute of Technology, Electrical and Optical Engineering|
|Jessica Nunez||2014 summer||
BMSIS Young Researcher
|Citrus College||Graduate of UC Berkeley, Mechanical Engineering|
|Nery Rafael||2012 fall -2013||Hydrothermal vent simulations||CSU Long Beach - Biochemistry||Quality Control Chemist, Grifols Biologicals Inc.|
|John Zeytounian||2012||Electrochemistry of iron sulfides||University of Southern California, Molecular and Computational Biology|
|Ivria Doloboff||2011-2015||Chemical gardens, phosphorus chemistry||CSU Long Beach / Santa Monica College||NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Research Technician|