About the Authors

This is a blog composed of individuals. We all wear lots of hats, and the hat we wear here is that of individual bloggers voicing their own opinions on matters. Thus, you shouldn’t take anything we say here as speaking for the various institutions that fund us, employ us, play softball with us, or have any other relationship to us. What we say here we say as individuals. Anyways, here’s our team:


Shawn Domagal-Goldman is currently a postdoc at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. For 3-4 days a week he works in the astrobiology program office, organizing conferences and workshops. The other 1-2 days are dedicated to research focused on exoplanet characterization lessons from the “pale orange dot” that was the Archean Earth. You can also find him blogging about baseball stats and the woe of being a Cubs fan at Bleed Cubbie Blue.


Ariel Anbar is a Professor in the School of Earth & Space Exploration and the Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Arizona State University, where he also leads a NASA Astrobiology Institute team. Anbar’s group develops geochemical methods for many applications. Most relevant to this blog is research into the rise of environmental O2 – and of our aerobic biosphere – in Earth history. We want to know how the Earth wound up evolving creatures searching for other pale blue dots!


Betül Arslan is a postdoc at Georgia Tech School of Biology and a member of the GT Astrobiology team and NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution. She combines tools from a variety of fields to setup a molecular time machine and goes millions of years back in time, resurrects essential genes, and evolves them “back to the future.” When not in the lab, you can find her doing science outreach or dancing tango.


David Grinspoon is Curator of Astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Adjunct Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado. His research focuses on planetary evolution and habitability, and he is on the JPL Titan astrobiology team and the science teams of several active and proposed planetary spacecraft missions. He also likes to think, talk and write about the cultural, philosophical, artistic, ethical and humorous aspects of science. Also a musician, David has played in numerous great bands destined for obscurity. As a matter of fact he played lead guitar in a band called The Geeks years before being a geek was considered cool.


Dimitra Atri is currently a India Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Visiting Fellow at the Department of High Energy Physics in the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India. He studies the interaction of high-energy particles of astrophysical origin with the terrestrial atmosphere and its biota. He is interested in exploring the interface between the physical and biological worlds, science education and public outreach projects.