Search

Heather Graham

E4D_HeatherGraham

Appointment

  • Fellow
  • Earth 4D: Subsurface Science & Exploration

Institution

  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Country

  • United States

Education

PhD (Geosciences & Biogeochemistry), Pennsylvania State University

About

Heather Graham is an organic geochemist with a profound curiosity about the natural world, the history of life, the vast connections between biotic and abiotic systems, and what evolution can tell us about our future.

Graham’s research focuses on the fundamental scientific development of tools and techniques that can help us identify “agnostic biosignatures” – evidence of living systems that may not share common biochemistry with life on Earth. Life detection methods that do not presuppose a common heritage with life on Earth are becoming more important as we travel farther out in the solar system and may even help us understand novel life deep in the earth where potential ecosystems have been out of communication with the surface of the planet for billions of years. With a diverse background in biology, analytical chemistry, paleontology, and statistical modeling, Graham combines her expertise in the expression and preservation of chemical biosignatures with an understanding of the constraints of space flight instrumentation.