WINGS Fellow Nathalie Cabrol treks to the most extreme environments on Earth to imagine life on Mars.
Planetary explorer Nathalie Cabrol has been working along with SETI and NASA to try to answer some of the biggest questions of the universe. In order to understand how the Earth has come to produce life and if we are truly alone in the universe, Cabrol starts by exploring the most extreme environmental conditions on Earth.
Most recently the focus of her research has been searching for microbial life in the high-elevation Andean lakes and deserts. She has "braved earthquakes, set a diving record, and gathered data on the threats faced by mountain ecosystems in the face of climate change." All, to understand how life might persist on Mars, which might have once had a similar climate to Earth's mountain deserts.
As a science team member for NASA, Cabrol helps design interplanetary experiments for the Martian Spirit rover, and researches new technologies for future missions to Mars and beyond.