GT Astrobiology Fall Welcome Event


Georgia Tech Astrobiology and ExplOrigins Community,

Please join us for the Fall 2021 GT Astrobiology Distinguished Lecture and Social Event!

event flyer

Title: Exploring Jezero Crater with the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover

Presented by: Dr. Kathryn Stack-Morgan, JPL — Mars 2020 Project Scientist

Date/Time: Friday, September 10th, 2:30 PM–3:30 PM Eastern *note new time*

Location: virtual via BlueJeans (link: and on YouTube Live (

Following the virtual seminar, there will be an in-person social with refreshments beginning at 4:00 PM, located at the Molecular Science and Engineering (MoSE) outdoor patio, ground floor. We will also be taking a group photo at 4:15pm, so bring your GT Astrobiology shirts!

We hope to see you there!

Organized by Astrobiology Fellows, 2021-2022:

Becca Guth-Metzler, Christina Buffo, Tyler Roche, Taylor Plattner, and Jordan McKaig

Sponsored by GT Astrobiology and CSTAR

PCE3 seminar by Georgia Tech prebiotic chemists!


Please join us for another session of the PCE3 seminar series on June 24 at 1:00-2:30 pm (EST). This session we are excited to hear from Tyler Roche and Bryce Clifton, both graduate students at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We will also have a short topical introduction from Dr. Nicholas Hud, Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. We hope you can join us for another exciting session!

Tyler Roche will talk about “The Key to Prebiotic Nucleoside Formation?”

Bryce Clifton will talk about “Achieving multiple rounds of nucleic acid replication in a prebiotic solvent: A solution to the product inhibition problem”

Please use this link to register. In the event the zoom meeting reaches capacity the meeting will be live streamed to the PCE3 youtube channel.

Our new co-director: Dr Frances Rivera-Hernández


Please join me in welcoming onboard the new co-director of the Georgia Tech Astrobiology Program: Dr. Frances Rivera-Hernández ! Dr. Rivera-Hernández will be leading the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Seminar Series starting this fall 2021. Read more about Dr. Rivera-Hernández and her exciting research below!

PSAS: Book talk – Sociology of Spacecraft Mission Teams


Professor Vertesi specializes in the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology. Her primary research site is with NASA’s robotic spacecraft teams as an ethnographer. Her books, Seeing like a Rover: Images and Interaction on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (Chicago, 2015) and Shaping Science: Organizations, Decisions, and Culture on NASA’s Teams (Chicago, 2020) draws on her ethnographic studies of missions to Mars, Saturn, and the outer planets to examine how organizations matter to scientific discovery. Vertesi is also a leader in digital sociology, whether studying computational systems in social life, shifting research methods online, or applying social insights to build technologies along different lines. She holds a Master’s degree from Cambridge and a PhD from Cornell, has received several grants from the National Science Foundation, and has been awarded top prizes for her work from the ASA’s Science, Knowledge and Technology Section and Communication, Information Technology and Media Section, and the Society for Social Studies of Science.

Janet Vertesi,
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology at Princeton University

PSAS: Weather on extrasolar worlds


As observations of exoplanet atmospheres have grown in number and fidelity, spanning a larger
wavelength range at ever-higher spectral resolution, they have provided unprecedented constraints
for exoplanet atmospheric models. These datasets allow us to probe their atmospheric properties,
including the composition and spatial distribution of clouds. In this talk I will discuss efforts to
understand the advective, radiative and chemical processes taking place in giant exoplanet
atmospheres via three-dimensional (3D) circulation modeling, and how they serve to inform
comparative exoplanetology studies of transiting giant planets using the Spitzer and Hubble Space
Telescopes (and soon the James Webb Space Telescope). I will also discuss how our efforts to
understand giant planets can be extended to our understanding the climate of potentially habitable
worlds, particularly those transiting M-dwarfs.

Tiffany Kataria,
Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Exoplanet Discovery and Science