WINGS Fellow Nathalie Cabrol treks to the most extreme environments on Earth to imagine life on Mars.

 Nathalie Cabrol speaks at TED2015 - Truth and Dare, Session 4, March 16-20, 2015, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED

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.

We are the only advanced life form in the solar system, but that does not mean there is no microbial life nearby...There is no life possible at the surface of Mars today, but it might still be hiding underground.
— WINGS Fellow and NASA Team Member Nathalie Cabrol

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.

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