Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science Experts

Susanne Douglas

Senior Scientist
Department of planetary Sciences
Planetary Science Institute
New Zealand


Dr. Douglas received her PhD in Geology in 1993 from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. She joined JPL in 1999 as a Scientist. From 2002-2008, she was Discipline ProgramAstrobiology in the JPL Planetary Science Instrument Development Program Office, and in 2008-2009 was a collaborator on the Phoenix Mission Science Team and Astrobiology field lead for Antarctic expedition—spacecraft instrument testing and science validation. In 2010, she was on the 2018 Mars Sample Return Mission formulation team and also provided science and engineering support for development of new smart landing technology and landing site analysis. In 2011, Dr. Douglas joined the permanent science staff at PSI as a Senior Scientist.

Research Interest

Dr. Susanne Douglas engages in field and laboratory-based investigations of Geosphere-Biosphere interactions, especially in desert and Mars analogue environments. The ability of microorganisms, dwelling as communities within rock, to produce and leave behind distinct signature minerals and textures is investigated in the whole-landscape and ecosystem context. Specific geomicrobiological aspects of microbial communities within sedimentary, evaporite, and volcanic rock, focusing on the effect of the whole community, rather than a collection of individuals, on the  environment, on a range of spatial scales from micrometres to kilometres. Field testing of new technology for robotic astrobiology-focused missions.

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