Elizabeth Swanner is part of a multi-institution award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to form an Interdisciplinary Consortium on Astrobiology Research (ICAR). The project is lead by Dr. Betül Kacar from the University of Arizona. The project,” Metal Utilization and Selection Across Eons”, or MUSE, and will explore life’s selection of elements a question fundamental to the field of astrobiology as a whole.
Dr. Swanner will contribute geochemical and microbiological expertise in lakes that are analogues for early Earth environments. She will lead a project within MUSE to explore the requirements of bacteria using the nitrogenase enzyme for the element molybdenum under anoxic and iron-rich conditions. Zackry Stevenson will be supported by this grant. The MUSE project includes investigators at Arizona State University, Stanford University, Utah State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Iowa State University, and the University of Alberta.
Read the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences press release about this award.