"I believe it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary."

- Elon Musk

Giorgio G. Morbioli

Dedra Eichstedt

Marshall is a second-year graduate student of Analytical Chemistry with an interest in organic biomarker detection. He received both his Bachelor's in Chemistry and Masters in Analytical Chemistry at East Tennessee State University performing material characterization and organic surface functionalization of porous materials. His research currently focuses on organic functionalization and derivatization of fluorophores for future applications in CE-LIF analysis of trace biomarkers, particularly towards in situ planetary studies in the search for life beyond Earth.

George Tan

Giorgio is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He obtained his BSc (2013) and his MSc (2015) in Chemistry from the Institute of Chemistry of São Carlos at University of São Paulo, Brazil. His main research interests involve instrumentation design and development, fast-prototyping of microfluidic devices, microchip capillary electrophoresis and paper-based microfluidic devices.

Scot Sutton

Following a six year stint in the U.S. Navy, Aaron attended Kennesaw State for a Bachelor's in Science in Biochemistry. Currently, he is an second-year graduate student in Analytical Chemistry at Georgia Tech. His investigations with Stockton Group involve generating and characterizing lab-grown semi-permeable inorganic membranes. Studying the physiological and chemical properties of these membranes could give rise to previously unknown understandings of the origins of life, as well as lead to many useful applications regarding chemical fuel cells.

Dedra Eichstedt is a third-year Ph.D. student in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Biological Science at Colorado State University. Following this, she worked as an analytical chemist in toxicology for several years, first at Eurofins Medinet and later at Forensic Laboratories in Denver, Colorado. Her work in the Stockton Group involves using uCE-MS to create methods for the separation of amino acid and sugar enantiomers, with eventual applications in studying the chiral makeup of meteorites and other small bodies in the solar system in an effort towards understanding the origin of homochirality on Earth.

Aaron Pital

Graduate Students

Zach is a fourth-year graduate student of Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. He received his Bachelor's in Chemistry and Biology & Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). His research has focused on the design, construction, and implementation of µCE-LIF systems. Validating a previously-constructed system at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, gave him the experience to build a model system at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has conducted field work in 2015 at the Rio Tinto in Spain and various sites in Iceland. He will lead the McMOA and IMPOA efforts towards successful development and field deployment of a miniaturized µCE-LIF system under this PSTAR-funded effort.

Scot is a second-year graduate student at Georgia Tech. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, also at Georgia Tech. His research focuses on analyzing patterns of habitability, and he is currently aiding the field teams with sample processing in the Georgia Tech lab. In addition, Scot has been testing the capacity of the iChip, a micro-device designed for in-situ microbe cultivation, in the context of extreme environments. With refinement, he hopes that the iChip will prove a critical tool in assessing the microbial diversity of these environments, and allow for the discovery of novel species.

George Tan is a fourth-year PhD student majoring in Analytical Chemistry at Georgia Tech. He holds two bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Biology from Jackson State University. With an extensive experience in microfluidics, he has worked on prototyping microfluidic circuit for automated fluid delivery and routing and possesses programming skills such as LabView, to monitor, configure, and control of microfluidic devices. He has participated in field sample collection and analysis in Rio Tinto and was the field qPCR lead in the 2015 US-UK-Nordic Icelandic Field Expedition. He is currently using amplicon sequencing and metagenomics to characterize the diversity of bacteria in tephra samples from Iceland.

Marshall Seaton

Zachary Duca