Source Newsroom: University of Tennessee
Linda Kah, associate professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is part of a camera team on the NASA team working on the Curiosity rover. The team will search for rocks with features that might indicate the presence of microbial life in the planet's past. The rover will collect soil material and powdered rock samples using its robotic arm to gather, strain, and transfer them into the rover's analytical system. Kah will then use an instrument capable of detecting both organic molecules and the isotopic signatures often left in rocks by microbial metabolisms.
Kah has studied the role of microbial life in the formation of some of Earth's earliest rocks in such remote places as the West African Sahara desert and Arctic Canada.
Kah received her bachelor's and master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
For more information, visit http://web.eps.utk.edu/~faculty/kah/kah.html.