I am interested in research leading to finding life on exoplanets, biosignature gases and theoretical biochemistry.
So far Earth is the only known inhabited planet.
Yet it is known that the laws of physics and chemistry are universal and the same in every 'corner' of the observable Universe. Can we say the same about biology? Can we identify any universal laws of biology? I study these questions using cheminformatics computer simulations as an aid in designing future laboratory experiments.
2021 – present
MIT Research Affiliate
2019 – 2021
Research Scientist at MIT
2015 – 2019
Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT
2013 – 2015
Marie Curie ETH-Fellow at ETH-Zürich
2006 – 2012
PhD degree in Biophysics, UVA
September 14, 2020
Phosphine on Venus Cannot be Explained by Conventional Processes
The recent candidate detection of ~20 ppb of phosphine in the middle atmosphere of Venus is
so unexpected that it requires an exhaustive search for explanations of its origin.
August 13, 2020
The Venusian Lower Atmosphere Haze as a Depot for Desiccated Microbial Life: A Proposed Life Cycle for Persistence of the Venusian Aerial Biosphere
We revisit the hypothesis that there is life in the Venusian clouds to propose a life cycle that resolves the conundrum of how life can persist aloft for hundreds of millions to billions of years.
September 14, 2020
Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus
Here we report the apparent presence of phosphine (PH3) gas in Venus’s atmosphere. Single-line millimetre-waveband spectral detections from the JCMT and ALMA telescopes have no other plausible identification.
June 10, 2020
On the Potential of Silicon
as a Building Block for Life
We provide a comprehensive assessment of the possibility of silicon-based biochemistry and assess whether or not silicon chemistry meets the requirements for chemical diversity and reactivity as compared to carbon.