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Kelsey Moore

Photo of Kelsey Moore


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Laboratory Studies


  • Ph.D. in Geobiology, Massachuestts Institute of Technology Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Cambridge, MA (2020)
  • B.A. in Geosciences (cum laude), Smith College Department of Geosciences, Northampton, MA (2015)

Community Service

  • Founder and president of Women in Course XII (WiXII) at MIT. This group organized and facilitated events and conversations to promote women in science and academia. 
  • Tutor for MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program

Research Interests

I am a geobiologist with a focus on microbial life on early Earth. My research centers around the ways in which microbes—through their biochemical makeup and their metabolic activity—interact with the chemical environment. I am interested in both the impacts that microbes have on their environment and, in parallel, the impacts that environmental conditions have on microbes and their evolution. Through a range of experimental and analytical techniques, I address questions related to the evolution of the biosphere on Earth and the preservation of organic matter and fossils. This includes investigations of microfossils and organic matter that were preserved during the Proterozoic and Archean eons and experiments that shed light on the microbe-mineral interactions that may have promoted fossilization in ancient environments.

Selected Awards

  • MIT EAPS Award for Excellence in Teaching 2019
  • JPL Strategic University Research Partnership Student Participant 2017-2018
  • Lewis and Clark Fund in Astrobiology Field Scholar 2017
  • MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Award 2017
  • NSF GRFP Honorable Mention 2017
  • Praecis Presidential Graduate Fellow 2015-2016
  • Dean’s List, Smith College 2011-2013
  • First Group Scholar, Smith College 2012
  • Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar 2013

Selected Publications

  1. Moore, K.R., Gong, J., Pajusalu, M., Skoog, E.J., Xu, M., Feliz Soto, T., Sojo, V., Matreux, T., Braun, D., Williford, K., Bosak, T., in prep, A new model for silicification of cyanobacteria in Proterozoic tidal flats. 
  2. Moore, K.R., Pajusalu, M., Gong, J., Sojo, V., Matreux, T., Braun, D., Bosak, T., 2020 Biologically mediated silicification of benthic cyanobacteria and implications for the Proterozoic fossil record. Geology.
  3. Moore, K.R., Magnabosco, C., Momper, L., Gold, D.A., Bosak, T., Fournier, G.P., 2019 An expanded phylogeny of Cyanobacteria supports deep placement of plastids. Frontiers in Microbiology. v.12.
  4. Momper, L., Hu, E., Moore, K.R., Skoog, E.J., Tyler, M., Evans, A.J., Bosak., T. 2019 Metabolic versatility in a modern lineage of cyanobacteria from terrestrial hot springs. Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
  5. Magnabosco, C., Moore, K.R., Wolfe, J.M., Fournier, G.P., 2018, Dating phototrophic microbial lineages with reticulate gene histories. Geobiology. v. 16, p 179-189. 
  6. Moore, K.R., Bosak, T., Macdonald, F.A., Du, K., Newman, S.A., Lahr, D.J.G., Pruss, S.B., 2017, Pyritized Cryogenian cyanobacterial fossils from Arctic Alaska. Palaios. v. 32, n. 12, p. 769-778.
  7. Moore, K.R., Bosak, T., Macdonald, F.A., Lahr, D.J.G., Newman, S., Settens, C., Pruss, S.B., 2017, Biologically agglutinated microfossil from Cryogenian cap carbonates. Geobiology. v. 15, p 499-515.