BMSIS Visiting Scholar: Payel Das

I am Payel Das, an undergrad student from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I study microbiology, which I really enjoy. But I also have had a huge passion for astronomy forever. So, I kept searching for a subject that combines my interests. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I found out about astrobiology, an exciting and relatively new field that connects both astronomy and microbiology. As an undergraduate aspiring researcher, I was searching for space-related research opportunities in my country. But sadly, astrobiology is a very new field of study in the world, let alone Bangladesh. The Young Scientist Program at Blue Marble Space Institute of Science presented me with an amazing opportunity.

This summer, I was one of those few lucky people who got accepted and had the chance to work with some world-renowned astrobiologists. My project title was “Detection Strategies in Iceland’s Mars Analog Sites”. I worked on analyzing lipid molecules on Mars analog sites in Iceland, under the supervision of Dr. Angelica Angles.

I will be continuing to work on this project as a Visiting Scholar at BMSIS. At the moment, my goal is to graduate with a good grade and gain more research experience, and then pursue higher education in astrobiology