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

- Elon Musk

Giorgio G. Morbioli

Dedra Eichstedt

George Tan

Carlie is a first year graduate student in the PhD program here at Georgia Tech. She graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BS in Chemistry and three years of research experience in computational astrochemistry. Her interests are in finding life outside of Earth as well as new chemical instrumentation development, specifically those in which aid in space exploration. Carlie is currently working on the Field Exploration and Life Detection Sampling through Planetary Analogue Research (FELDSPAR) project in which she specializes in mineral characterization and large data entry analysis. Her publications are:

  • ​C.M. Novak, R.C. Fortenberry. “Theoretical rovibrational analysis of the covalent noble gas compound ArNH+” J. Mol. Spectrosc. (2016) 322, 29-32
  • C.M. Novak, R.C. Fortenberry. “Vibrational frequencies and spectroscopic constants of three, stable noble gas molecules: NeCCH+, ArCCH+, and ArCN+” J. Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys (2017) 19, 5230-5238
  • R.C. Fortenberry, C.M. Novak, et al. “Overcoming the Failure of Correlation for Out-of-Plane Motions in a Simple Aromatic: Rovibrational Quantum Chemical Analysis of c-C3H2:” J. Chem. Theory and Comput., (2018) 14(4) 2155-2164
  • R.C. Fortenberry, C.M. Novak, T.J. Lee “Rovibrational analysis of c-SiC2H2: Further evidence for out-of-plane bending issues in correlated methods” J. Chem. Phys. (2018) 149, 024303
  • ​R.C. Fortenberry, C.M. Novak, T.J. Lee, B.P. Rice, et al. “Identifying Molecular Structural Aromaticity for Hydrocarbon Classification” ACS Omega (2018) ID: ao-2018-02734u.R2

​Chinmayee Raj

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

Chinmayee is a first year Ph.D. student of Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. She received her Bachelor’s in Electronics and Instrumentation from Amrita School of Engineering, India and a Master’s in Bioengineering from San Jose State University, CA. Her work towards her Master’s thesis at NASA Ames Research Center, CA has given her extensive experience in designing, rapid prototyping and realizing end-to-end micro-electrochemical transduction systems. Her current research at Stockton labs mainly focusses on design and implementation of bio-fluidic devices, optical systems, and biochemical sensor systems in icy-moon payload instrumentation for bio-signature detection. Her publications are:

  • ​Enabling Experimental Evolution: Multi-parameter Sensor System Integration into a Culture/Stressor Bio-fluidics System. Govinda Raj C, Bake A, Tayeb A, Ludman C, Joshi P, Wang J, Gentry DM. Abstract #467264, American Geophysical Union 2018 Fall Meeting, Washington D.C., December 2018.
  • ​Sensor Selection and Implementation for an Autonomous Experimental Evolution Bio-fluidics System. Govinda Raj C, Bake A, Tayeb A, Wang J, Gentry DM. Abstract #110, 34th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, Maryland., October 2018.
  • ​​Virtual Instrumentation Based Fetal ECG Extraction. Govinda Raj C, Vepuri SH, Bojja SG, Ramachandran, S. Procedia Computer Science 70:289-295, 2015.

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 third-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

Carlie Novak

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

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.