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 Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology: People
Rohit Bhartia's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-301
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Rohit Bhartia

For the last 16 years, Rohit Bhartia has been leading research and instrument development programs for deep UV based native fluorescence/Raman instruments for JPL under NASA (Astrobiology, organics, and life detection), NSF (life detection in extreme environments), and DoD (chemical/biological/explosives) programs. Under this program he has led a multi-institution team in developing the science and the instrumentation for to enable organic and life detection analysis for planetary science and terrestrial applications. This has led to the first hyperspectral deep UV native fluorescence/Raman imaging for differentiating and characterizing organics and/or microbes on natural surfaces and is the Deputy-PI on the selected Mars 2020 flight instrument (SHERLOC). He has also led instrument deployments to extreme environments such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Death Valley, and the deep ocean subsurface. His work has also led to data analysis methods that focus on using the technology for life detection by fusion of deep UV native fluorescence and deep UV Raman spectroscopy. His current efforts focus on spatially correlated organic chemistry with mineralogy analysis using a combination of native fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy to understand the distribution of organics/microbes to deduce their provenance or mechanism of survival. This research focus extends from planetary science with life detection and the origin of organics to detection and characterization of extreme life on earth and development of tools for water quality analysis or biological/chemical threat detection.

  • Ph.D in Geological Sciences/Geobio, University of Southern California, (2011)
  • M.S in Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, (2009)
  • B.S in Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison (1998)

Professional Experience
  • JPL Pasadena, California - (1998-Present)
    • Deputy PI- SHERLOC – Deep UV fluorescence Raman Instrument (Mars 2020), (2014 -  Present)
    • Deep UV Raman/Fluorescence Instrument & Science Lead, (2007 – Present)
    • Astrobiology & Planetary Chemistry Group
      • Technical Staff, Deep UV Raman/Fluorescence Instrument Lead, (1998 – 2007)

Selected Awards
  • JPL Mariner Award – Adv of JPL Deep UV Raman/Fluorescence Technology (2009)
  • New Technology Award-  “UV sources for detection of Improvised Explosive Devices” (2008)
  • JPL Outstanding Accomplishment Award- Deep UV instrument Development with Cliffbot rover (2007)
  • JPL Team Award – Deep UV Hydrothermal Vents Expedition (2004)
  • JPL Outstanding Accomplishment Award – Astrobiology (2000, 2003)
  • New Technology Report Award – “Quantum Dots for on-off biological labeling (2002)

Selected Publications
  1. Bhartia, R.*, W.H. Hug, R.Reid, L. Beegle, (2015) Explosives Detection and Analysis by Fusing Deep UV Native Fluorescence and Resonance Raman Spectroscopy. P.M. Pellegrino, E.L. Holthoff, M.E. Ferrell (Eds.) Laser-based Optical Detection methods of Explosives, Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis Group. 
  2. Steele A., F.M. McCubbin, L.G., Benning, S. Siljestrom, G.D. Cody, Y. Goreva, E.H. Hauri, J. Wang, A.L.D Kilcoyne, M. Grady, A. Verchovsky, H. Sabbah, C. Smith, C. Freissinet, P.D Glavin, A.S. Burton, M.D Fries, J.D. Rodriguez Blanco, M. Glamoclija, K.L. Rogers, S. Mikhail, R.N. Zare, Q.Wu, A. Ismail, J.P. Dworkin, R. Bhartia, “Organic Carbon Inventory of the Tissint Meteorite – Evidence of Hydrothermal Organic Synthesis in a Martian Basalt” in review – Nature.
  3. Salas, E.C., R. Bhartia., W.Hug, R.Reid, G. Turrino, K. Edwards, “Detecting the deep biosphere in igneous ocean crust” (ISME) – in prep
  4. Abbey, W., L. Beegle, K. Williford, A. Burton, V. Paez, K. Sijapati, S. Sijapati, R. Bhartia*  “Deep UV Raman Spectroscopy for Planetary Exploration: The Search for in situ Organics”, Icarus, in prep (Oct 2014)
  5. Beegle, L.W., R. Bhartia*, L. DeFlores, M. Darrach, R. D. Kidd, W. Abbey, S. Asher, et al. “SHERLOC: Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals, an Investigation for 2020.” Lunar and Planetary Institute Science Conference Abstracts 45 (March 1, 2014): 2835.
  6. Russell, M.J., L.M. Barge, R. Bhartia, D. Bocanegra, P.J. Bracher, E. Branscomb, R. Kidd, S. McGlynn, D.H. Meier, W. Nitschke, T. Shibuya, S. Vance, L. White, I. Kanik. “The Drive to Life on Wet and Icy Worlds” Astrobiology 14, no. 4 (2014): 1-36.  
  7. White, LM, R. Bhartia, GD Stucky, I. Kanik, MJ Russell. “Characterizing Composition Variations in Catalytic Iron-Sulfide Species in Ancient Alkaline Hydrothermal Vent Systems” reviewed by EPSL – in revision.
  8. Abbey, W.J., E. Salas, R. Bhartia, L.W. Beegle. “The Mojave Vadose Zone: a Subsurface Biosphere Analogue for Mars.” Astrobiology 13, no. 7 (July 2013): 637–646.
  9. Bhartia R.*, M. D. Fries, W. H. Hug, R. D. Reid, L.W. Beegle, A. Alwood, A.L. Lane, E. C. Salas, K. H. Nealson “  Deep UV Native Fluorescence and Resonance Raman Imaging Spectroscopy for In-situ Organic Detection”, Lunar Plan. Sci. 41 , 2674. (2010)
  10. Bhartia, R*., E.C. Salas, W. Hug, R. Reid, A.L. Lane, K.J. Edwards., K.H. Nealson 2010. “Label-Free Bacterial Imaging with Deep-UV-Laser-Induced Native Fluorescence.” 76(21): Applied Environmental Microbiology, 7321–7237.
  11. Beegle, L.W., Peters, G.H., Anderson, R.C., Bhartia, R., Ball, A.G., Sollitt, L., Particle Sieving and Sorting Under Simulated Martian Conditions, Icarus (2009), doi: 10.1016/j.icarus.2009.07.008
  12. Bhartia, R*., W.Hug, E.C.Salas, R.Reid, K. Sijapati, A. Tsapin, W.J. Abbey, P.G. Conrad, K. Nealson, and A.L.Lane, “Classification of Organic and Biological materials with Deep UV Excitation”. Applied Spectroscopy,Vol. 62 (10),October 2008.
  13. Hug, W.F., R.D. Reid, R. Bhartia, "Miniature Integrated UV Resonance Fluorescence and Raman Sensor for Detection and Identification of Biochemical Warfare Agents", SPIE European Symposium in Security & Defense, 25-28 October (2004).
  14. William F. Hug, Ray D. Reid, Pamela Conrad, Arthur L. Lane, and Rohit Bhartia, "Portable Integrated UV Resonance Fluorescence and Raman Chemical Sensor for in situ, Autonomous, Detection", 31st Annual Conference of the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies, Portland, OR., Oct. 3-7 (2004).
  15. Conrad, P.G., A.L. Lane and R. Bhartia (June 2004) Non-contact rapid detection of Chemical biosignatures in rock and sediment, invited Geochimica et. Cosmo. Acta (Goldschmidt supplement) A804.
  16. Conrad, P.G., A.L. Lane, R. Bhartia and G.D. McDonald (2004) The effects of molecular interactions with minerals on the detection of organic chemicals in rock and sediment by laser-induced native fluorescence, Intl. J. Astrobiol. Suppl. 1, 117.
  17. McDonald, G. D., P. G. Conrad, R. Bhartia, E. C. Salas and H. J. Sun Volatile organic biomarker release from microbial communities in extreme environments. Intl. J. Astrobiol. Suppl. 1, 66. (2004).
  18. Bhartia, R., G. D. McDonald, E. Salas and P. Conrad Determination of aromatic ring number using multi-channel deep UV native fluorescence. Lunar Plan. Sci. XXXV, 2045. (2004)
  19. Bhartia, R., McDonald, G.D., Salas, E.C., Hug, W., Reid, R., Conrad, P.G., A Model to Differentiate Organic Compounds Based on UV Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Intl. J. Astrobiology, Suppl. 1, 115-116 (2004).
  20. Lane, A.L, Conrad, P.G, Carsey, F.D., Bhartia, R., Hug, W., An In Situ Method for Detecting Organic Chemicals In Deep Ice Environments. Astrobiology, 3(S1): 72 (2004).
  21. Conrad, P.G., A.L. Lane and R. Bhartia, Optical Detection of Organic Chemical Biosignatures at Hydrothermal Vents 35th Lunar Plan. Sci. XXXV, 2055 (2004).
  22. Tsapin, A., G. McDonald, W. Abbey, R. Bhartia, W. Hug, R. Reid, "Fluorescence and amino acids measurements in water column of Antarctic subglacial lakes. Astrobiology, Vol. 2, No. 4, p. 632, (2002).
  23. Hug, WH., Reid, RD., Storrie-Lombardi, MC., Bhartia, R. Development Status of compact DEEP UV lasers for UV Raman Spectroscopy. 28th Annual Conference of the Federation of Analytic Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (2001).
  24. Storrie-Lombardi, MC., Douglas, S., Sun, H., McDonald, GH., Bhartia, R., Deep UV Native Fluorescence Imaging of Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Communities (2001).
  25. Storrie-Lombardi, MC., Bhartia, R., Nealson, KH. Determining Biosignatures by Complexity Analysis in Antarctic Cryptoendolithic Communities. General Meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (2001).
  26. Hug, WH., Reid, RD., Storrie-Lombardi, MC., Bhartia, R. A miniature Deep UV Raman Microscope with Fluorescence Imaging. PacificCHEM 2000 (2000).

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