1. Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology

    Map of locations explored by Lewis and Clark Fund recipients. Blue Xs mark 2016 research destinations. Map of locations explored by Lewis and Clark Fund recipients. Blue Xs mark 2016 research destinations.

    The American Philosophical Society (APS) is the oldest learned society in North America, and a scientific sponsor of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery in 1804. This spirit of exploration continues today, and nowhere is it more visible than in the vision and efforts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). APS and the NASA Astrobiology Institute partnered in 2006 to promote the continued exploration of the world around us through a program of research grants in support of astrobiological field studies undertaken by graduate students, postdocs, and early-career scientists and scholars who are affiliated with U.S. institutions.

    Additional information, including the application forms and instructions, is available at the APS’s Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology page at: http://www.amphilsoc.org/grants/astrobiology


    2017 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Thomas Boag
    Stanford University
    Will examine “Oxygen, Temperature, and the Deep-Water Evolution of Animals: Investigating Fossil Occurrences Across an Ediacaran Shelf-to-Slope Transect in Northwest Canada”

    Steffen Buessecher
    Arizona State University
    Will study “Entangled Abiotic and Biotic N2O Fluxes in Iron-Rich Soils of Peru”

    Daniel Colman
    Montana State University
    “Quantifying the Influence of Tectonic Regime on Hot Spring Microbial Diversity” in Iceland

    Jeremy Dunham
    University of Tennessee
    Will examine “Variation in Microfabric Within Proterozoic Early Diagenetic Chert and Implications for Genesis” at the Angmaat Formation, Canada

    Rebecca Dzombak
    University of Michigan
    Will explore “Iceland as an Analogue for Unvegetated Precambrian Soils During Oxygenation of the Atmosphere”

    Andrew Gangidine
    University of Cincinnati
    Will conduct an “Exploration and Collection of Sinter Deposits and Biofilms in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, for the Development of Novel Trace Element Biosignature Analysis”

    Kelsey Moore
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Will examine the “Evolution of Cyanobacteria” at Shark Bay, Australia

    Logan Peoples
    University of California, San Diego
    “Comparing Pressure-Retained and Decompressed Microbial Communities from the Greatest Ocean Depths” in the Puerto Rico Trench

    Elena Zaikova
    Georgetown University
    Will be “Investigating the Role of Microbes in Secondary Mineral Deposits in Lava Caves as Analogs for Subsurface Mars” at Craters of the Moon, Idaho


    2016 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Joany Babilonia
    University of Florida
    Will be “Unraveling the Global Microbiome Core of Stromatolites” in Ruidera Pool, Spain

    Megan Bedell
    University of Chicago
    Will be “Exploring the Formation of Rocky Worlds with the Solar Twin Planet Search” at the HARPS Spectrograph, Chile

    Sarah Black
    University of Colorado Boulder
    Will examine “Characterization of Secondary Mineralogy in Hydrothermal Systems via Multiple Instrumentation Methods: Implications for Mars” in Costa Rica and Iceland

    Kathleen Craft
    Johns Hopkins University
    Will be “Exploring Hydrothermal Sinter Sites in Iceland and Molecular Biosignature Detection Techniques: A Mars Mission Analog to Exploring Nili Patera” in Iceland

    Aubri Jenson
    Texas State University
    Will be “Detecting Evidence of Microbially Mediated Carbonate Dissolution in a Submerged Cave” at Cenote San Carlos, Quintana Roo, Mexico

    Emily Smith
    Smithsonian Institution
    Will examine “The Last of the Ediacara Biota at Mt. Dunfee, Nevada”

    Joshua Stanford
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    Will be “Assessing the Plausibility of Long-Term sedimentary Recycling of Sulfur Isotope Anomalies and the Implications for Atmospheric Evolution on Earth” in the Northern Amazon Craton, Pará, Brazil

    Qing Tang
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Will study the “Paleobiology of the Tonian Chuar Group in North America and its implications for the evolution of complex eukaryotes” at the Chuar Group in the Northern Grand Canyon, Arizona

    Kyle Uckert
    New Mexico State University
    Will be “Characterizing the Biogenicity of Manganese Oxides in an Extreme Environment: Fort Stanton Cave as a Solar System Analog” in Fort Stanton Cave, New Mexico

    Lewis Ward
    California Institute of Technology
    Will be “Investigating Uncharacterized Iron-Rich Hot Springs in Japan as Early-Earth and Exoplanet Analogues” at the Jinata Onsen, Tokyo, Japan


    2015 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Ashley Manning-Berg
    University of Tennessee at Knoxville
    Will examine “Preservation of Proterozoic Microbial Mats in the Angmaat Formation, Baffin Island, Canada”

    Devon Cole
    Yale University
    Will assess Oxygenation in the Late Mesoproterozoic, Baffin Island, Canada

    Holly Farris
    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
    Will examine “Survivability of Halophiles through Deliquescence in the Atacama Desert, Chile: Implications for Liquid Water Stability and Habitability of the Martian Surface”

    Rebecca Greenberger
    Brown University
    Will engage in “Mapping Mineralogies of Serpentine Seeps at an Ophiolite in Oman: Insights into Microbial Activity”

    Leanne Hancock
    University of California, Riverside
    Will collect samples along the California coast to examine “Redox Variation and Nutrient Controls on Monterey Formation Deposition: A Case Study on Methane Cycling in Borderland Basins and Proximity Controls”

    George Kasun
    Portland State University
    Will study “Recombination Between RNA and DNA Viruses in an Acidic Hot Spring” in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

    Cara Magnabosco
    Princeton University
    Will conduct “A Comparison of Subsurface Microbial Communities and Function” in northern Portugal

    Charity Phillips-Lander
    University of Oklahoma
    Will investigate “Trace Metals As Indicators of Microbially-Induced Weathering in Water-Limited Systems: The Snake River Plain (Idaho) as an Analog for Post-Noachian Weathering on Mars”

    Arpita Roy
    Pennsylvania State University
    Will collect data “In the Quest for Habitable Extrasolar Planets: Exploring the full potential of the PARAS Spectrograph in India”


    2014 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Ross Anderson
    Yale University
    Will examine Preservational Controls on Neoproterozoic-Cambrian (1000 MA – 485 MA) Eukaryotic Fossil Diversity Explored in the Zavkhan Terrane of Southwestern Mongolia

    Eric Bellefroid
    Yale University
    Will assess the Effects of Tectonic Change on the Marine Paleoenvironment and Biogeochemical Cycles During the Mesoproterozoic, Borden Basin, Northern Canada

    Jacob Cammack
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Will conduct Secondary Ion Microprobe Microanalysis of the Strelley Pool Cherts, Insight Into Fluid Sources, Alteration, and Paleoenvironmental Conditions, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia

    Scott Evans
    University of California, Riverside
    Will examine the Paleoecology of the Iconic Ediacaran Genera Dickinsonia, South Australia

    Breana Hashman
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Will constrain Redox Conditions and Their Potential Role in Climactic Variations of the Mesoarchean as Recorded in the South African Witwatersrand and Pongola Supergroups of the Kaapvaal Craton

    Molly Patterson
    University of Connecticut
    Will study Thrombolite Fabric Development in Hardwater, Marine, and Hypersaline Environments, Green Lake, New York; Highborn Cay, Bahamas; Lake Clifton, Australia

    Anna Simpson
    University of Washington
    Will assess the “Effects of Alpine Nitrogen Deposition, Mount Rainier, Washington”

    Eva Stueeken
    University of Washington
    Will characterize Nutrient Cycles in Late Precambrian Lakes, Late Mesoproterozoic Torridonian Supergroup, Scotland

    Lydia Tarhan
    Yale University
    Will examine The Silicification of Soft-Bodied Biotas: A Model for Exceptional ‘Ediacara-Style’ Preservation, Flinders Ranges, South Australia”


    2013 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Elena Amador
    University of Washington
    Travel to Iceland in support of her project, Revealing the Habitability and Microbial Diversity of Icelandic Lava Fields: An Interdisciplinary Approach

    Morgan Cable
    California Institute of Technology
    Travel to Iceland in support of her project, Biodiversity and Habitability in Icelandic Lava Fields

    Yadira Ibarra
    University of Southern California
    Travel to England and Wales in support of her project, Paleoenvironmental Significance of Microbialites From the Upper Triassic, Southwest United Kingdom, and Relevance to the End Triassic Mass Extinction

    Ryan Lynch
    University of Colorado
    Travel to Argentina in support of his project, “Understanding the Traits of Chemosynthetic Bacteria From a Martian Analog in the High-Elevation Atacama Region”

    Muammar Mansor
    Pennsylvania State University
    Travel to Italy in support of his project, Detecting Biosignatures From Biominerals Formed in Subsurface Caves: Analogue to Mars

    Edward Schwieterman
    University of Washington
    Travel to Italy in support of his project, Assessing the Habitability, Diversity, and Productivity of Mars Analog Environments in Iceland

    Christine Solon
    University of California–Riverside
    Travel to Australia in support of her project, Morphology and Ecology of an Enigmatic Ediacaran Taxon

    Sanjoy Som
    Blue Marble Space Institute of Science
    Travel to Iceland in support of his project, “Hydrogen Production in Basalt-Hosted Hydrothermal Systems”

    Kristin Woycheese
    University of Illinois–Chicago
    Travel to the Philippines in support of her project, Biogeochemistry and Depositional Facies of a Serpentinizing Fluid Seep in the Zambales Range Ophiolites, the Philippines


    2012 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Timothy Gallagher
    University of Michigan
    Travel to Michigan, Minnesota and Ontario, to study Life on land during the mesoproterozoic: Evidence from the midcontinent rift system

    Cara Harwood
    University of California, Davis
    Travel to Nevada, to examine “Thrombolites as records of microbial-metazoan ecosystems in Cambrian carbonates of the Southern Great Basin, United States”

    Jena Johnson
    Caltech
    Travel to South Africa to investigate Manganese and the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis

    Cassandra Marnocha
    University of Arkansas
    Travel to Sweden to study the Geomicrobiology of rock coatings from Karkevagge, Swedish Lapland

    Roy Price
    University of Southern California
    Travel to New Caledonia, Expanding frontiers for origin of life research: serpentinite-hosted shallow hydrothermal vents

    Elizabeth Sibert
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
    Travel to Italy to examine Ichthyoliths across the KPg [Cretaceous-Paleogene] boundary: Response of pelagic consumers to a mass extinction

    Erik Sperling
    Yale University
    Travel to Canada, to study Oxygen, ecology, and the Cambrian radiation of animals: Insights into the origin of complex life from the MacKenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada

    Elizabeth Wilbanks
    University of California, Davis
    Travel to Massachusetts to investigate A sulfurous symbiosis: The dynamic metatranscriptome of pinkberries in the Sippewissett Salt Marsh


    2011 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Zachary Adam
    Montana State University
    Travel to the Belt Supergroup, Montana for Characterizing the Mesoproterozoic Microfossil Record of the Belt Supergroup, Montana

    Alberto Robador Ausejo
    University of Hawaii
    Travel to the Juan de Fuca Ridge to study the Biosphere of Subseafloor Basalt Crust

    James Caporaso
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    Travel to the Atacama Desert, Chile for Microbial Community Characterization of the Atacama Desert Soils

    Mark Claire
    University of Washington
    Travel to the Atacama Desert, Chile Searching for the Driest Place on Earth

    Alison Conrad
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    Travel to California and Nevada lakes and hot springs to study, The Microbial Ecology of Anoxygenic Arsenite Oxidizing Photoautotrophs in Extreme Environments

    Jessica Corman
    Arizona State University
    Travel to Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico to examine Nutrient Limitation as a Factor for Microbialite Formation in Cuatro Ciénegas, México

    Sarah Hendrickson
    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
    Travel to South African mines to examine Dissolved Organic Carbon Cycling in the Deep Crustal Biosphere

    Joseph Levy
    Portland State University
    Travel to Yellowstone National Park to examine “Chimerya: Cryosphere-Hydrothermal Interactions: Mars-Yellowstone Research for Astrobiology”

    Jeffrey Marlow
    California Institute of Technology
    Travel to the Hydrate Ridge, Oregon to assess Carbonate based anaerobic methane oxidation at hydrate ridge methane seeps

    Read Jeffrey’s blog posts from the field published in The New York Times:

    Rebecca McCauley
    Pennsylvania State University
    Travel to the Bahamas to examine Energy-Limited Microbial Communities as an Analog for Archean Life

    Timothy Shirey
    University of Alabama
    Travel to the Atacama Desert, Chile to study the Perchlorate Reduction & Biochemistry in the Atacama Desert: The Searth for Biosignatures of Life in a Martian Analog Environment

    Amelinda Webb
    Yale University
    Travel to Anticosti Island, Quebec for Exploring the Ecological Impact of Mass Extinction: Measuring the Effects of Stress on Communities during the Ordovician-Silurian Mass Extinction on Anticosti Island, Quebec, Canada


    2010 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Knicole Colon
    University of Florida
    Travel to Spain for her project, From Hot-Jupiters to Super Earths: Characterizing Transiting Extrasolar Planets with GTC/OSIRIS

    Andrew Czaja
    University of Wisconsin
    Travel to Australia for a Field Trip to Explore Archean and Proterozoic Geology of Western Australia

    Jason Huberty
    University of Wisconsin
    Travel to Australia, for the “Fifth International Archean Synposium (51AS) Field Trip to the Pilbara Craton, including the Fortescue and Hamersley Basins”

    Michele Knowlton
    Arizona State University
    Travel to Yellowstone National Park to examine “Nitrogen fixation occurring within microbial mats”

    Nancy McKeown
    University of California, Santa Cruz
    Travel to Arizona, for a “Spectral Study Of the Painted Desert, Arizona, to Characterize Clay Alterations Environments and Provide Implications for Astrobiology at Mawrth Valis, Mars, a Likely Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site

    • Read Nancy’s abstract and poster from the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, 2011

    Elizabeth Percak-Dennet
    University of Wisconsin
    Travel to Australia, Linking Laboratory and Field Studies of the Mineralogical and Iron Isotope Composition of Banded Iron Formations in Western Australia

    Matthew Urschel
    Montana State University
    Travel to Alberta, Canada to examine Iron Reduction in the Subglacial Sediments of Robertson Glacier, Canada


    2009 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Jennifer Glass
    Arizona State University
    Topic: Evaluation of Molybdenum Diagenesis in Sediments of Castle Lake, California

    Dominic Papineau
    Carnegie Institution of Washington
    Topic: Influences of Phosphorous on the Carbon Cycle in the Paleoproterozoic Aravalli Supergroup

    Jimmy Saw
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Topic: Single-cell Genome Sequencing of a Novel Gloeobacter from an Epilithic Biofilm in a Hawaiian Basaltic Lava Cave

    Dustin Trail
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Topic: A Field and Geochemical Investigation of the Oldest Known Rocks on Earth: the ca. 4.03 Billion–year-old Acasta Gneiss Complex, Canada

    Katherine Wright
    University of Colorado at Boulder
    Topic: Biomarkers for Sulfur Metabolism in Icy Non-terrestrial Environments

    David J. Smith
    University of Washington
    Topic: Measuring Polymorphism in Northern Hemisphere Snow Algae Populations


    2008 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Benjamin Black
    Stanford University
    Topic: Examining the Evidence for Early Life and Environments in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    Barbara Cavalazzi
    Portland State University
    Topic: 3D Electron Tomography of Extreme Environments Fossil Microbes (Rio Salado, Chile): The Problem of Biogenicity and its Detection

    Jackie Denson
    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
    Topic: Lake Magadi, Kenya; A Survey of the Microbial Diversity and Microbial Biomarkers Associated with Growth of Microorganisms along Alkaline Gradients in a Saline Rift Valley System

    Emiley Eloe
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    Topic: Influence of High Hydrostatic Pressure on Microbial Communities from the Puerto Rico Trench

    Ian Johnson
    Pennsylvania State University
    Topic: The Earth’s Oldest (~3.4 Ga) Paleosol, North Polar Dome region of the Pilbara Craton, Australia

    Michael Meyer
    University of South Florida, Tampa
    Topic: Morphological Change Through Time in the Ediacaran Fossil, Pteridinium

    Kristen Myshrall
    University of Connecticut
    Topic: “Evaluating the Microbial Constituents and their Metabolisms in Modern Thrombolites: A tool for Interpreting Life on the Ancient Earth and Searching for Life Beyond”

    Jorge Nunez
    Arizona State University
    Topic: “Mineralogy, Microtexture and Microbial Biosignatures of Siliceous Hydrothermal Spring Deposits in New Zealand , with Applications to Mars Exploration”

    Noah Planavsky
    University of California, Riverside
    Topic: Sulfur Isotopes in Paleoproterozoic Carbonates: The Key to Understanding Post Oxygenation Chemical Oceanography

    Read Noah’s articles:


    2007 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Melissa Adams
    Stanford University
    Topic: Elucidating the in situ Metabolism of Novel Phosphorus Species by Thermophilic Cyanobacteria, Yellowstone National Park

    Laura M. Barge
    University of Southern California
    Topic: Precipitation in Diffusion-Controlled Systems and the Formation of Terrestrial (Utah) and Martian Hematite Concretions

    Melissa Hage
    University of Tennessee
    Topic: “Geologic Investigation of Banded Iron Formation from the Isua Greenstone Belt, Southwest Greenland”

    Katherine J. Harris
    University of Oxford
    Topic: Geomicrobiology of Mars Analog Lakes in the Andes-High Lakes 2007 Science Expedition

    Pablo Sobron
    Centro de Astrobiologia, Spain
    Topic: Raman Spectroscopy in an Extreme Environment with Astrobiological Implications, Iron Mountain, California

    Nicholas Warner
    Arizona State University
    Topic: Identification and Collection of Subglacially Derived Volcanic Material on the Outwash Plains of Southern Iceland

    • Nicholas Warner in EOS

    2006 Selections for the Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology


    Clara Fuchsman
    University of Washington
    Topic: Expedition to the Mid-Proterozoic: Understanding the Nitrogen Cycle in the Black Sea Suboxic Zone

    Damhnait Gleeson
    University of Colorado, Boulder,
    Topic: The Unique, Sulfur-Rich Icy Ecosystem at Borup Fiord Pass, Ellesmere Island, in the Canadian High Arctic

    Brian Hynek
    University of Colorado, Boulder
    Topic: Mars’ Astrobiology Potential from Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua

    Mercedes Lopez-Morales
    Carnegie Institution of Washington
    Topic: Search for Transits of Extrasolar Planets Using the Swope Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile

    Penny Morrill
    Carnegie Institution of Washington
    Topic: Identification of Gaseous Hydrocarbon Formation from Ultrabasic Springs in Sonoma County, California

    Nicholas Swanson-Hysell
    Princeton University
    Topic: Integrated Magnetic and Chemical Stratigraphy of the Bitter Springs Stage, Australia