Laura Rodriguez (Leg 4)

I am a postdoctoral fellow working in the Origins and Habitability Lab group working with Dr. Laurie Barge at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I am an organic geochemist and data scientist interested in understanding the origins of genetic material for abiogenesis events and developing data science strategies to facilitate the search for life at hydrothermal vents in ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus. I am participating on this cruise as a member of the InVADER team ( the overall objective of our project is to determine the feasibility of using mission-ready laser spectroscopic techniques (i.e. Raman, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Laser Induced Fluorescence) to characterize the biogeochemistry of hydrothermal vents in-situ. To this end, I will be joining the VISIONS21 cruise to collect hydrothermal vent precipitates and fluids for analysis. I am particularly excited for this field excursion as it will be my first cruise ever! In addition, I am really looking forward to learning more about everything that goes into having a successful research cruise and getting to experience what it is like to do science at sea!