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Michael Tuite

Photo of Michael Tuite


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-301

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Laboratory Studies


I was born at a young age and have every intention of living forever or dying in the attempt. The rest is just details.


  • 2012 Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
  • 2008 M.S. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
  • 1987 B.A. International Politics, University of Pennsylvania

Professional Experience

  • 2018-present
    • Science Information Manager, Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover
  • 2018-present
    • SHERLOC Instrument Science Team Collaborator
  • 2015-present
    • Research Director, Astrobiogeochemsitry Laboratory, JPL/California Institute of Technology
  • 2013-2015
    • Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory /California Institute of Technology
  • 2013
    • Project Scientist, Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources
  • 1996-2006
    • Director, Digital Media Lab, University of Virginia Library 1996-2006

Community Service

2023 Death Valley Dark Sky Festival

Research Interests

  • The search for ancient life on Mars
  • Mars analogue sample acquisition and biosignature-related analysis
  • Geological sample data and information management
  • Compound-specific isotope analysis of terrestrial and extraterrestrial nitrogen-containing heterocycles
  • Biogeochemistry of anoxic Paleozoic marine ecosystems

Selected Awards

  • JPL Team Award
  • JPL Voyager Award

Selected Publications

  1. Hickman-Lewis K, Moore KR, Hollis JJR, Tuite ML, Beegle LW, Bhartia R, Grotzinger JP, Brown AJ, Shkolyar S, Cavalazzi B, Smith CL. In Situ Identification of Paleoarchean Biosignatures Using Colocated Perseverance Rover Analyses: Perspectives for In Situ Mars Science and Sample Return. Astrobiology. 2022 Sep;22(9) 1143-1163.
  2. J. Aramendia, L. Gomez-Nubla, M.L. Tuite, K.H. Williford, K. Castro, J.M. Madariaga, 2021. A new semi-quantitative Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) method for detection of maleimide (2,5-pyrroledione) with potential application to astrobiology, Geoscience Frontiers, Volume 12, Issue 5,
  3. Masiero, J. R., Davidsson, B. J. R., Liu, Y., Moore, K., & Tuite, M. (2021). Volatility of Sodium in Carbonaceous Chondrites at Temperatures Consistent with Low-perihelion Asteroids. The Planetary Science Journal, 2(4), 165.
  4. Bhartia, et al, (2021). Perseverance’s Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) Investigation, Space Science Reviews
  5. Tuite, M.L., Williford, K.H., Macko, S.A. (2019) From Hothouse to Icehouse: Nitrogen Biogeochemistry and the Oxygenation of the Late Devonian Ocean/Atmosphere System. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
  6. Tuite, M.L, Flannery, D.T., Williford, K.W. (2016). Organic Geochemistry of a High-Latitude Lower Cretaceous Lacustrine Sediment Sample from the Koonwarra Fossil Beds, South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria.
  7. Caudill, Christy, Gordon Osinski, Eric Pilles, Haley Sapers, Alexandra Pontefract, Shamus Duff, Joshua Laughton, Jonathan O'Callaghan, Racel Sopoco, Gavin Tolometti, Michael Tuite, Kenneth Williford, Tianqi Xie (2020). Field and laboratory validation of remote rover operations Science Team findings: The CanMars Mars Sample Return Analogue Deployment (MSRAD), Planetary and Space Science.
  8. Stamenković, V., et al., 2019. The Next Frontier for Planetary and Human Exploration, Nature Astronomy, 3(2) 116-20.
  9. DiLoreto, Z.A., Bontognali, T.R.R., Al Disi, Z.A. et al. Microbial community composition and dolomite formation in the hypersaline microbial mats of the Khor Al-Adaid sabkhas, Qatar. Extremophiles, 23, pages 201–218 (2019).
  10. D. Flannery, A. Allwood, R. Hodyss, R. Summons, M. Tuite and M. Walter. 2018. Microbially-influenced formation of Neoarchean ooids. Geobiology.
  11. S. Menachekanian1, D. T. Flannery, C. M. Heirwegh, M. L. Tuite, C. S. Jamieson, R. Hodyss, K. Williford, 2018. Investigating Photochemical Effects of Micro-XRF Analysis on Common Geochemical Compounds. Advances in X-ray Analysis, International Center for Diffraction Data
  12. Ishida, A., Kitajima, K., Williford, K.H., Tuite, M.L., Kakegawa, T., Valley, J.W., 2018. Simultaneous in situ analysis of carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios in organic matter by secondary ion mass spectrometry, Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research. 42, 2 p 189-203
  13. Finstad, K.M., Pfeiffer, M., McNicol, G., Tuite, M., Williford, K.H., Amundson, R., 2018. A late Quaternary paleoenvironmental record in sand dunes of the northern Atacama Desert, Chile, Quaternary Research.
  14. William J. Abbey, Rohit Bhartia, Luther W. Beegle, Lauren DeFlores, Veronica Paez, Kripa Sijapati, Shakher Sijapati, Kenneth Williford, Michael Tuite, William Hug, Ray Reid, 2017. Deep UV Raman Spectroscopy for Planetary Exploration: The Search for In Situ Organics, Icarus,
  15. Haddad, E., Tuite, M., Martinez, A., Williford, K., Boyer, D., Droser, M., Love, G., 2016. Lipid biomarker stratigraphic records through the Late Devonian Frasnian/Famennian boundary: Comparison of high- and low-latitude epicontintental marine settings, Organic Geochemsitry.
  16. Tuite, M.L, Flannery, D.T., Williford, K.W., 2016. Organic Geochemistry of a High-Latitude Lower Cretaceous Lacustrine Sediment Sample from the Koonwarra Fossil Beds, South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Memoirs of Museum Victoria.
  17. Tuite, M.L. & Macko, S.A., 2013, Basinward nitrogen limitation demonstrates role of terrestrial nitrogen and redox control of delta N-15 in a Late Devonian black shale, Geology, 41(10), pp. 1079-82.
  18. Tuite, M.L. & Macko, S.A., 2010, Biogeochemistry of N and P in a dysoxic/euxinic late Devonian epeiric basin, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74(12), pp. A1059-.
  19. Cox, B.S., Cox, D.J. & Tuite, M. 2001, Driving difficulties among male adolescents, Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 312-3.
  20. Data Publications
  21. Tuite, M.L., 2016, Geochemistry of the Daviess 873 core,, University of Virginia Dataverse, V1
  22. Tuite, Michael L., et al., (2017), Geochemistry of the Late Devonian VA-1 core. Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). doi:10.1594/IEDA/100679


Mars 2020