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 Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology (3225): People
Laurie  Barge's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-255
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Laurie Barge

  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Southern California (2009)
  • B.S., Astronomy and Astrophysics (Minor in Physics), Villanova University (2004)

Research Interests
  • Hydrothermal vents, water-rock interfaces, and chemical energy for life. Following the energy to understand habitability of icy worlds and early Mars.
  • Chemistry / electrochemistry of iron minerals (especially iron oxyhydroxides and iron sulfides): organic interaction, redox reactions, implications for Mars habitability and the emergence of life on Earth.
  • Self-organization in chemical, geological, and prebiotic systems: from inorganic self-assembly to the emergence of metabolism.
  • Using fuel cell and electrochemical experiments to simulate far from equilibrium geological / planetary systems.


MRO - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Icon MRO - Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) launched in 2005 and is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time.

Professional Experience
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2010-present)
    • HiRISE Investigation Scientist, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (2015 - present)
    • Research Scientist, Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology group (2015-present)
    • NASA Astrobiology Institute Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-2015)
    • Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar, Planetary Sciences Section (2010-2013)
  • University of Southern California (2004-2009)
    • Research Assistant, Dept. of Earth Sciences
  • Marathon Oil Company (Summer 2008)
    • Petrophysics Intern (Zeolite formation in petroleum reservoirs)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2005-2006)
    • Research Assistant (Landing site hazard analysis for Phoenix and Mars Science Laboratory)
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Summer 2004)
    • NASA Academy Intern (Carbon isotope analysis of Mars analog samples)
  • Villanova University (2002-2004)
    • Research Assistant, Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Determine orbital properties of eclipsing binary systems in the Magellanic Clouds)

Selected Awards
  • Co-PI, NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE), “GP-EXTRA - Bridge to the Geosciences for Community College Students” (2015-2018)
  • Investigation Lead / Co-I, NASA Astrobiology Institute, Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN-7), “Icy Worlds: Astrobiology at the Water-Rock Interface and Beyond…” (PI: Isik Kanik) $8M.
  • Co-I,JPL Strategic University Partnership Program award, "Microbial Fuel Cells for in-situ life detection" (with USC) (2013).
  • NASA Astrobiology Institute Travel Award ("Effects of Catalytic Iron-Containing Minerals on RNA Synthesis"; collaboration with the New York Center for Astrobiology) (2013)
  • Finalist, Harry Lonsdale Origin of Life Prize (2012)
  • American Astronomical Society International Travel Grant (2007, 2011, 2012)
  • NASA Harriet G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellow (2006-2009)
  • Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Merit Fellowship (2008)
  • USC Dean Joan M. Schaefer Research Award (2008, 2007)
  • NASA Astrobiology Institute Lewis and Clark Field Scholar (2007)
  • Keck Fellowship, University of Southern California (2004)
  • College Merit Award Fellowship, USC College of Letters and Sciences (2004)

Selected Publications
  1. L. M. Barge, Y. Abedian, I. J. Doloboff, J. E. Nunez, M. J. Russell, R. D. Kidd, I. Kanik. (2015) Chemical Gardens as Flow-Through Reactors Simulating Natural Hydrothermal Systems. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 105, DOI: 10.3791/53015.
  2. L. M. Barge, S. S. S. Cardoso, J. H. E. Cartwright, G. J. T. Cooper, L. Cronin, A. De Wit, I. J. Doloboff, B. Escribano, R. E. Goldstein, F. Haudin, D. E. H. Jones, A. L. Mackay, J. Maselko, J. J. Pagano, J. Pantaleone, M. J. Russell, C. I. Sainz-Díaz, O. Steinbock, D. A. Stone, Y. Tanimoto, N. L. Thomas. (2015) From Chemical Gardens to Chemobrionics. Chemical Reviews, 115 (16), pp 8652–8703, DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00014.
  3. B. T. Burcar, L. M. Barge, D. Trail, E. B. Watson, M. J. Russell, L. B. McGown. (2015) RNA Oligomerization in Laboratory Analogues of Alkaline Hydrothermal Vent Systems. Astrobiology, 15(7): 509-522. doi:10.1089/ast.2014.1280.
  4. Barge, L. M., Doloboff, I. J., Russell, M. J., VanderVelde, D., White, L. M., Kidd, R., Kanik, I. (2014) Pyrophosphate Synthesis in Iron Mineral Films and Membranes Simulating Prebiotic Submarine Hydrothermal Systems. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, 128, 1-12, Publication.
  5. L. M. Barge, T. P. Kee, I. J. Doloboff, J. M. P. Hampton, M. Ismail, M. Pourkashanian, J. Zeytounian, M. M. Baum, J. Moss, C.-K. Lin, R. D. Kidd, I. Kanik (2014) The Fuel Cell Model of Abiogenesis: A New Approach to Origin-of-Life Simulations. Astrobiology, 14(3):254-70.
  6. Research featured in Chemical & Engineering News: "Gardens of Eden", March 18, 2013. Vol. 91, Issue 11, pp. 44-45, Publication
  7. J. Petruska and L. M. Barge. (2013) Bilaterally Symmetric Facial Morphology Simulated by Diffusion-Controlled Chemical Precipitation in Gel. Chemical Physics Letters 556, 315-319.
  8. L. M. Barge, A. A. Pulschen, A. P. M. Emygdio, C. Congreve, D. E. Kishimoto, A. G. Bendia, A. Teles, J. DeMarines, D. Stoupin (2013) Life, the Universe, and Everything: An Education Outreach Proposal to Build a Traveling Astrobiology Exhibit. Astrobiology, Vol. 13, No. 3, DOI: 10.1089/ast.2012.0834.
  9. L. M. Barge, I. J. Doloboff, L. M. White, G. D. Stucky, M. J. Russell, I. Kanik. (2012) Characterization of Iron-Phosphate-Silicate Chemical Garden Structures.Langmuir, 28 (8), pp 3714-3721 (Featured on cover of Feb 28, 2012 issue).
  10. M. A. Chan, S.L. Potter, B.B. Bowen, W. T. Parry, L. M. Barge, W. Seiler, E.U. Petersen, J. R. Bowman (2012) Characteristics of terrestrial ferric oxide concretions and implications for Mars. In J. Grotzinger and R. Milliken, Sedimentary geology of Mars: SEPM Special Publication No. 102, p. 253-270.
  11. B. Schoepp-Cothenet, W. Nitschke, L. M. Barge, A. Ponce, M. J. Russell, A. I. Tsapin (2011) Comment on "A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus" Science, vol. 332, no. 6034, pl 1149.
  12. L. M. Barge, D. E. Hammond, M. A. Chan, S. Potter, J. Petruska, K. H. Nealson (2011) Precipitation Patterns Formed by Self-Organizing Processes in Porous Media. Geofluids, 11: 124-133.
  13. L. M. Barge, K. Nealson, J. Petruska (2010) Organic Influences on Inorganic Patterns of Diffusion-Controlled Precipitation in Gels. Chemical Physics Letters, Vol. 493, Issues 4-6, pp. 340-345.

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