PETRA RETTBERG, Chair, is team leader of the astrobiology-group at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Aerospace Medicine. At DLR, she has served as the deputy head of the Radiation Biology Department, head of the Astrobiology Research Group, and head of the Radiation Biology Research Group. Her research interests include astrobiology, planetary protection, microbiology, and photobiology. She was a member of the COSPAR Panel on Exploration and the COSPAR Panel on Planetary Protection (PPP). She is also a member of the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) of the European Science Foundation (ESF) Solar System and Exploration Panel (SSEP) and the European Space Agency (ESA) Planetary Protection Working Group (PPWG). She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany.
ALEXANDRE ANESIO is professor of biogeochemistry in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. His research interests combine concepts from geography, biology, and chemistry to understand the carbon cycle in the cryosphere. He is also interested in a range of climate and human impacts on freshwaters such as ultraviolet radiation and mining, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. from Lund University in Sweden.
VICTOR BAKER is a Regents’ Professor of the University of Arizona in the departments of hydrology and water resources, planetary sciences and geosciences. He has more than 35 years’ experience in planetary science research, particularly in geological studies of Mars and Venus. He also has had long experience with interpretive studies of terrestrial remote sensing, especially in regard to his specialties in fluvial geomorphology and flood hydrology. Dr. Baker is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, honorary fellow of the European Geosciences Union, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and foreign member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was the 1998 president of the Geological Society of America, and he holds the 2001 Distinguished Scientist and 2010 Distinguished Career Awards from the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of that society. He is the author or editor of 18 scholarly books or monographs, 400 scientific papers and chapters, and more than 480 published abstracts and short reports. He received his Ph.D. in planetary sciences from University of Colorado. He has served on previous National Research Council (NRC) committees, including the Planning Committee for Global Change and Extreme Hydrologic Events: Testing Conventional Wisdom—A Workshop, the Committee on Hydrologic Science, and the Planning Committee on Research Applications Needs in Flood Hydrology Science: A Workshop.
JOHN A. BAROSS is professor of biological oceanography and the Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is an expert on microorganisms and viruses from volcanic environments, the limits of life, the origin and evolution of life; and life on other planets and moons. He received his Ph.D. in marine microbiology from the University of Washington. He also served on the ESF-ESSC Study Group on Mars Sample Return (MSR) Planetary Protection Requirements entitled “Mars Sample Return Backward Contamination Strategic Advice and Requirements.” His NRC service includes chairing the Committee on the Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, co-chairing the Committee for a Review of Programs to Determine the Extent of Life in the Universe, and co-chairing the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life, membership on the Steering Group for the Workshop on Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms, Task Groups on Sample Return from Small Solar System Bodies, and Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies, and Ad Hoc Task Group on Planetary Protection.
SHERRY L. CADY is chief scientist of biogeochemical imaging at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, and professor emeritus in the Department of Geology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Cady is an expert on how extremophile microbial communities interact with their environment and how microbial signatures are sequestered in the geological record. Her research focuses on using the molecular-to-macroscale chemical and morphological evidence of microbes preserved in geological materials (soils, sediments, and mineral precipitates) to detect signs of ancient life and predict how microbial communities throughout time have lived and responded to changes in their environment. Such research informs paleobiology and astrobiology search strategies. Dr. Cady is a Fullbright senior research scholar at the Universitié Cadi Ayyad, Faculty de Sciences, Marrakesh, Morocco. She earned her Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, Berkeley. She served as an NRC research associate at NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Cady served on the NRC Committee to Review of the Next Decadal Mars Architecture and the Committee to Review Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample-Return Missions.
CHRISTINE M. FOREMAN is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Montana State University. Her research revolves around the organization of microbial communities in relation to their physical environment, and the processing of nutrients and dissolved organic matter (DOM). She is interested in the contribution of DOM to global carbon budgets, including potential storage in ice, and how this DOM is responsive to enhanced ultraviolet radiation. Dr. Foreman has spent 11 seasons in Antarctica and 1 in Greenland investigating microbial interactions in the permanently ice covered lakes, streams, and glacial cryoconites, as well as studying deep ice from Lake Vostok and the WAIS Divide. In addition, these studies set the stage for future investigations of life on other icy planets and moons. Dr. Foreman is a member of the U.S. Ice Core Working Group, the U.S. Committee for Limnology and Geochemistry of the International Subcommittee on Antarctic Lake Environments, and past member of the U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office Subglacial Access Working Group. She has served on two NASA advisory panels for the Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets program and the NRC Committee on NASA’s Suborbital Research Capabilities.
ERNST HAUBER is a planetary scientist at the German Aerospace Center Institute of Planetary Research. His research interests focus on planetary geology. He has conducted work in the fields of geophysics, astrophysics and space science, and geomorphology. He is a co-investigator for several deep space instrument teams, and is currently serving as a member in ESA’s Planetary Protection Working Group and the joint ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars Landing Site Selection Working Group. He earned his diploma for geology from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.
GIAN GABRIELE ORI is professor of geology (faculty of science, Universita d’Annunzio, Italy) and director of the International Research School of Planetary Sciences in Pescara, Italy. Dr. Ori is an interdisciplinary scientist for geology of the Mars express mission, co-investigator of the high-resolution stereo camera, and co-investigator of radars aboard MRO and Cassini. He is in charge of the analysis of the landing sites for the ESA missions ExoMars 2016 and 2018. Dr. Ori has served on several advisory committees of ESA and he is currently member of executive committee of the NASA’s Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). He received his Ph.D.
for geological sciences from the Universita’ di Bologna, (Italy). He served on the NRC’s Committee on Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars.
DAVID PEARCE is a professor of environmental microbiology in the Department of Applied Sciences at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. At Northumbria, his underlying research theme is the use of microbiology to understand Polar ecosystem function and the potential for shifts in biogeochemical activity that may result from environmental change. He has worked with the British Antarctic Survey as a microbiologist, head of the Genomic Analysis Section of the Biological Sciences Division, and an aquatic microbial ecologist. His research interests include microbial biodiversity, environmental microbiology, microbial ecology, molecular ecology, microbial physiology, environmental genomics, extremophiles, life in extreme environments, exploring and applying new technology, and the potential of unknown ecosystems. He is a member of the British Ecological Society and the International Society for Microbial Ecology. He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from King’s College, University of London.
NILTON RENNO is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford Department of Physics in the United Kingdom and an associate professor (with tenure) at the University of Arizona Department of Planetary Sciences. His research is focused on instrument development and thermodynamics, astrobiology, and climate. As a member of the Mars Science Laboratory Team he was a recipient of the Space Foundation John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation’s Award for Excellence. He has been a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International Society for Optics and Photonics. He earned his Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He served on the NRC’s Panel on Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
GARY RUVKUN is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory investigates neuroendocrine control of C. elegans development, metabolism, and longevity, as well as control of temporal pattern formation by heterochronic genes. He also has begun new studies on the genetic control of molting and neurotransmitter tranport. His laboratory has also started work with the Church Laboratory and engineers at MJ Research and the MIT Center for Space Research to develop a miniature thermal cycler and protocols to send to Mars in search of microbial life. As a postdoc he worked with Bob Horvitz at MIT and Walter Gilbert at Harvard, where he explored the heterochronic genes that control the temporal dimension of development. This work led to the discovery of the first microRNA genes and their mRNA targets by the Ambros and Ruvkun laboratories, the discoveries by the Ruvkun Laboratory that the mechanism of microRNA regulation of target mRNAs is post-transcriptional and that some microRNA genes are conserved across animal phylogeny. Dr. Ruvkun is a graduate of UC Berkeley (A.B. biophysics) and Harvard University (Ph.D. biophysics). He is a member of the NAS and the IOM. He has served on the NRC’s KFoS Five-Year Review Committee, the Organizing Committee for the Eleventh Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Science, and the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science.
BIRGIT SATTLER is an associate professor at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, at the Institute of Ecology. Her research interests include bacterial secondary production and activity, primary production, microbial communities in ice layers of alpine and Antarctic lakes, microbial processes in snow and atmosphere, and ice physics. Dr. Sattler earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and limnology at the University of Innsbruck and specializes in the microbial ecology of cold environments such as ice, snow, and the atmosphere.
MARK P. SAUNDERS is an independent consultant. Since retiring from NASA in December 2008, he has been consulting to various NASA offices providing program/project management and systems engineering expertise. This has included support to the Office of Chief Engineer, the Office of Independent Program and Cost Evaluation, the Mars Program, and the Science Office for Mission Assessments (at Langley Research Center [LaRC]). He has participated in the rewriting of NASA’s policy on program/project management; advised and supported the agency’s independent program/project review process; and has supported the review of various programs and
projects. At NASA Headquarters he served as director of the independent program assessment office, where he was responsible for enabling the independent review of the agency’s programs and projects at life cycle milestones to ensure the highest probability of mission success. At LaRC, he was initially the deputy director and then the director of the Space Access and Exploration Program Office and had the responsibility for planning, directing, and coordinating the center’s research, technology, and flight programs for advanced aerospace transportation and human/robotic exploration systems. Prior to this, he was the manager of exploration programs and led all LaRC space exploration research and development activities supporting the agency’s Aerospace Technology, Human Exploration, and Development of Space and Space Science Enterprises. At the Office of Space Science, he served as program manager for the Discovery Program, and at the Space Station Freedom program operations, he served as special assistant to the deputy director. He received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2008, Outstanding Performance awards: 1982, 1994-2008, and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals in 1998, 2004, 2006. He earned his B.A. at the Georgia Institute of Technology in industrial engineering. He has served on the NRC’s Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences.
DIRK WAGNER is the geomicrobiology section head in the chemistry and material cycles department at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences Helmholtz Centre Potsdam in Potsdam, Germany. He is also professor of geomicrobiology and geobiology at the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Potsdam. He was the leader of the working group Geomicrobiology in Periglacial Regions at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research. His research interests include enrichment, isolation, and characterization of extremophilic microorganisms; quantification of element fluxes and the fundamental microbial processes in terrestrial ecosystems; the molecular ecological characterization of microbial communities in extreme environments; reaction and adaptation of microorganisms to changing environmental conditions; and astrobiology. He has served as an editorial board member of the Microbiology Ecology and Permafrost and Periglacial Processes journals of the Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Dr. Wagner earned his Ph.D. in soil microbiology at the Institute of Soil Science at the University of Hamburg.
FRANCES WESTALL is the director of research (exobiology) at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). She has conducted research in the subject of geobiology, specifically fossil bacteria, at the University of Nantes in France and the University of Bologna in Italy. She was a visiting post-doctoral scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, where her work focused on bacterial palaeontology, prebiotic molecules, and early archean geology. She was an NRC fellow at NASA Johnson Space Center where she conducted research in subjects of bacterial palaeontology and bacteriomorphs in martian meteorites. Her research interests include martian geology and potential palaeontology and early Earth geological history. Dr. Westall has co-authored publications that have been awarded the 2001 Gerald A. Soffen Memorial Award and the 2014 WITec Paper Award. She is president of the European Astrobiology Network Association. She earned her Ph.D. in marine geology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
EMMANOUIL DETSIS is a science officer with the ESF’s Science Support Office. His main role at ESF consists of project management, coordination, and support for the framework program activities, and ESA-commissioned studies. His interests include technology foresight and low-level technology maturation concepts, innovative concepts for space exploration, life support systems, space nuclear power, computational and theoretical astrophysics, and planetary protection policy aspects. He earned his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s in space science from the International Space University.
DAVID H. SMITH joined the Space Studies Board (SSB) in 1991. He is the senior staff officer and study director for a variety of NRC activities in astrobiology, planetary science, and planetary protection. He also organizes the SSB’s summer intern program and supervises most, if not all, of the interns. He received a B.Sc. in mathematical physics from the University of Liverpool in 1976, achieved the honors standard in Part III of the Mathematics Tripos at the University of Cambridge in 1977, and a D.Phil. in theoretical astrophysics from Sussex University
in 1981. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen Mary College University of London (1980-1982), he held the position of associate editor and, later, technical editor of Sky and Telescope. Immediately prior to joining the staff of the SSB, Dr. Smith was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.
MICHAEL MOLONEY is the director for Space and Aeronautics at the SSB and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Since joining the ASEB/SSB, Dr. Moloney has overseen the production of more than 40 reports, including four decadal surveys—in astronomy and astrophysics, planetary science, life and microgravity science, and solar and space physics—a review of the goals and direction of the U.S. human exploration program, a prioritization of NASA space technology roadmaps, as well as reports on issues such as NASA’s Strategic Direction, orbital debris, the future of NASA’s astronaut corps, and NASA’s flight research program. Before joining the SSB and ASEB in 2010, Dr. Moloney was associate director of the Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA) and study director for the decadal survey for astronomy and astrophysics (Astro2010). Since joining the NRC in 2001, Dr. Moloney has served as a study director at the National Materials Advisory Board, the BPA, the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design, and the Center for Economic, Governance, and International Studies. Dr. Moloney has served as study director or senior staff for a series of reports on subject matters as varied as quantum physics, nanotechnology, cosmology, the operation of the nation’s helium reserve, new anti-counterfeiting technologies for currency, corrosion science, and nuclear fusion. In addition to his professional experience at the National Academies, Dr. Moloney has more than 7 years’ experience as a foreign-service officer for the Irish government—including serving at the Irish Embassy in Washington and the Irish Mission to the United Nations in New York. A physicist, Dr. Moloney did his Ph.D. work at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He received his undergraduate degree in experimental physics at University College Dublin, where he was awarded the Nevin Medal for Physics.
NICOLAS WALTER is currently a senior science officer at the ESF. He has been involved in project and study management for the ESA and the European Commission FP7 and Horizon 2020 projects (as coordinator or project manager). He has coordinated and initiated numerous projects in the fields of astrobiology, life in extreme environments, Mars analogues studies, planetary protection, and life sciences in space. He is responsible for peer-review activities at the ESF and was heavily involved in evaluation studies of ESA programmes. He earned his master’s in space science from the International Space University.
JEAN-CLAUDE WORMS is currently the head of the Science Support Office of the ESF. As of January 1, 2016, he will assume the new role as ESF’s chief operating officer. He holds a Ph.D. in physics (astronomy and space science) from the University Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6), has over 15 years of research experience in international space research projects, and more than 20-years’ experience in research management and strategic planning, assessing programmatic aspects of space agencies and research councils, coordinating policy and strategy at national and international level, and dealing with officials, executives, and scientific interest groups worldwide. He is involved in ESA and European Commission high-level science advisory structures and has participated with an observer status to ESA’s Ministerial Conferences since 1999.
ANDREA REBHOLZ joined the SSB as a program associate in 2009. She began her career at the National Academies in 2005 as a senior program assistant for the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation. Prior to the Academies, she worked in the communications department of a DC-based think tank. Ms. Rebholz graduated from George Mason University’s New Century College in 2003 with a bachelor of arts in integrative studies—event management and has more than 10 years of experience in event planning, project administration, and editing.
DANIELLE YOUNGSMITH is a Lloyd V. Berkner space policy intern at the SSB and a self-designed astrobiology major and physics minor at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She spent the majority of a year away from Columbia conducting exobiology, astrophysics, and human factors research at NASA Ames Research Center and through the SETI Institute. She was able to bring this biology research on habitability to the Mars Desert Research Station while conducting a simulated human mission to Mars.