BMSIS Visiting Scholar: Sriya Pothapragada

Sriya is a first-year Ph.D. student in Genetics at Clemson University under the direction of Dr. James Lewis. Her research at Clemson will be focused around studying the genetics of adaptation in butterflies. Sriya graduated in May 2023 with her B.S. in BioEngineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. During her time at UMD, Sriya was a Bioengineering Departmental Honors researcher in Dr. Jeffery Klauda’s Laboratory of Molecular and Thermodynamic Modeling, an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow for Synthetic Biology, a Resident […]

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BMSIS Visiting Scholar: Ali Ergül

My name is Ali, and I am an undergraduate student majoring in Molecular Biology &Genetics with a minor in Chemistry at Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. I’ve always been amazed by the nature, especially by the living things, since I was a kid. I amcurrently interested in the origin of life, how chemistry turned into biology. Being a part ofYoung Scientist Program and working on what I am interested in has grown my enthusiasmtowards the topic. Therefore, I decided to stay […]

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Celia Blanco is Bridging Gaps Between Theoretical Physics, Astrobiology, and the Origins of Life

By Harvey Sapigao Dr. Celia Blanco has always had a deep interest in physics, but she never dreamed of becoming the next Einstein or Newton. “I just studied physics ‘cause I like it,” she said. “I wasn’t really thinking of what will be next.” Blanco considers herself a pragmatist, a carpe diem theoretical physicist who spends more thought in the present than the future. Blanco grew up in Madrid, Spain, where she also finished her PhD in physics in Complutense […]

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Nurturing curiosity and reaching for the stars: Unveiling the journey of science educator Julia Brodsky

By Bhargabi Banerjee Julia Brodsky is a STEM education researcher and affiliate of the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, a former NASA astronaut instructor, and an independent school teacher. She is also the co-founder of Earthlings Hub, which addresses the educational needs of families and orphanages displaced as a result of the war in Ukraine.  Julia was five when her grandfather, a well-known professor of physics and a wonderful storyteller, introduced her to the structure of the solar system […]

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Where Worlds Collide: Stepping Into the Interdisciplinary

By Jenna Cammerino If you could pick one object that would stand to sum up life here on Earth, what would you choose? How about a song? Maybe even a word? We’ve all stopped to wonder whether or not we are alone in this Universe and many efforts have been devoted to searching for other life out there, but not nearly as many have been focused on what we’d do after we’ve encountered that other life. It is these kinds […]

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A Mars Here on Earth

By Jenna Cammerino One might not expect to find a glimpse of Mars here on Earth, but in the burnt orange peaks and plateaus of the Atacama Desert, located in Chile, we may catch an up close look of what life could be like on our celestial neighbor. Boasting various terrains, from salt flats to dry valleys and snowy volcanoes, the desert is home to much of the same diverse topography and extreme conditions found on Mars.  The Atacama, considered […]

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A Day in the Life of Curiosity

By Harvey Sapigao October 20, 2022 After more than a month of traversing through Paraitepuy Pass, I’ve arrived at a region of Mount Sharp my team on Earth call the “sulfate-bearing unit.” The view here is majestic; streaks of light and dark strata cover the hills, sand ridges form crescents of cerulean and rust, and oblique rocks of all shapes and sizes litter the terrain. But enough of sight-seeing — I’ve come here to investigate and unravel Mars’ watery past. […]

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The Case for Space

By Bhargabi Banerjee “The universe is a place of mystery and wonder,” ~ Martin Rees.  Our very existence on this planet is an enormous mystery, and one key to unlocking the enigma of our origins and our place in the cosmos is space exploration. The best word to describe the link between the outcome of space exploration and our lives on Earth is mutualism. The money spent on space exploration directly benefits human society and advances our understanding of the […]

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BMSIS Visiting Scholar: Ruvan de Graaf

Ruvan de Graaf (he/him) is a current graduate student at College of the Atlantic, Maine, USA, pursuing a MPhil in Human Ecology, and he is our newest Visiting Scholar at BMSIS, taking on work with Dr. Shawn McGlynn. Born and raised in South Africa and Eswatini, he completed his baccalaureate at United World College Southern Africa in 2017, and continued to complete his undergraduate program in Human Ecology in Maine. His work focuses on a metabolism first theory for the […]

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BMSIS Visiting Scholar: Jake Lowe

We’re excited to be welcoming Jake Lowe back to BMSIS. Jake was one of our YSP Research Associates previously, and is now joining us as a Visiting Scholar. Read below to learn more about Jake! My name is Jake, I’m 23, and I’m an aspiring astrobiologist. I’ve received my B.S. in microbiology with minors in earth science and astronomy from the University of Utah, USA, and I am continuing my studies as a master’s student in the biology of extreme […]

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