Christopher E. Carr, Sc.D.

Research Scientist


Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes

We are building a miniature RNA/DNA sequencer to search for life beyond Earth. Top places to look include Mars, Enceladus, and Europa. Other applications include human health, biodefense, and field research.


High-throughput sequencing

In-situ sampling & field studies

Instrument development, microfluidics

Bioinformatics, parallel computation

Environmental metagenomics

We are study terrestrial analogs of Mars including the acid mine drainage of Rio Tinto and a natural acid hydrothermal system at Volcan Copahue (pictured). These sites inform the search for life on Mars and contribute to the long-term goal of mitigating the environmental consequences of mining.

Bioenergetics and metabolism

We characterize biological systems through mathematical modeling and experiment. In the past this work focused on human adaptation to space and the energetics of movement. We have now extended this to high-throughput screening in model organisms and the demography of aging from worms to humans.

Air Spora Trapping and Recovery Operation (ASTRO) is a student project led by Jessica Sandoval to recover high altitude biological particles and characterize them through sequencing.

See related research on space radiation and biology.