The Life on the Edge Lab, part of the Williams Geobiology and Geochemistry Group at the University of Florida in Gainesville, has opportunities for highly motivated students seeking graduate degrees with an emphasis in geobiology and astrobiology. Potential projects cover a wide range of topics including molecular and morphologic biosignature preservation in planetary analog environments, organics detection limits with Mars mission flight-like analyses (e.g. SAM instrument on the NASA Curiosity rover and MOMA instrument on the ESA ExoMars rover), and development of new organics detection techniques for future space-flight missions. Students would join a group that explores planetary analog environments such as at El Tatio in the Chilean Atacama desert, and acid rock drainage sites in the US, and utilizes a variety of geobiologic techniques including gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy, to answer questions about these topics. The Department of Geological Sciences at UF is well-equipped with a wide array of instrumentation and resources available for these studies.
PhD and MSc positions are available as early as Fall 2019. For more information, please contact Prof. Amy Williams (email@example.com) with a C.V. and a brief description of research interests and experience. More information about the Department of Geological Sciences and the Life on the Edge Lab can be found here at http://geology.ufl.edu/ and http://wp.towson.edu/ajwilliams/.