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Current and Past Students

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Undergraduate Thesis Committee Chair

Allison Stephenson. Honors Thesis Committee Chair. Honors College thesis completed with graduation 5/2004. Thesis topic: Fate of biosignatures during early diagenesis of spherulitic hot-spring travertines, Yellowstone National Park.

Isela Mondanaldo. Arizona Space Grant Fellow and Senior thesis research project. Graduated, 5/2002. Topic: Microbially-mediated weathering of siliceous volcanic ash deposits, Superstition Mts., Arizona.

Vicki Mills. Graduation: Spring 2010. Arizona Space Grant Fellow. Topic: Effects of pH on silica phase transformations in hot-spring siliceous sinters, with applications to Mars.

Nicky Marin. Honors College. Expected graduation, Spring 2013. Topic: Mars hydrothermal systems, preparation of samples for XRD, thin sections, petrography of siliceous sinters, with applications to Mars; use of microscopic imaging at XRD to characterize weathering of Hawaiian basalts.


Masters Thesis Committee Chair

Alice Baldridge. Graduated: 05/2003. Thesis topic. Analog remote sensing studies in the Badwater Basin of Death Valley, CA: Implications for the orbital detection of Martian evaporates.

Meredith Payne. Graduated: 12/2003. Thesis topic: Periglacial geology of several regions adjacent to the North polar ice cap of Mars, with implications for Astrobiology.

Tomoko Adachi. Graduated: 08/2005. Thesis topic: Plio-Pliestocene Hydrothermal Deposits, Furnace Creek area, Death Valley.

Frederick Douglas Grant. Graduated: 05/2006. Thesis topic: Geology of Spirit’s landing site on the Gusev Crater plains. (Arizona Space Grant Fellow, 2005)

Diedre LaClaire. Graduated: 07/2006. Thesis topic: Microtextures and mineralogy of acid sulfate weathered basaltic materials under ambient and hydrothermal temperatures.

Valeria Routt. Graduated: 12/2009. Thesis topic: Morphogenesis and biosignature capture and preservation in oncoid stromatolites, Cuatro Cienegas Basin, Coahuilla, Mexico.

Jill Lockhard. Graduated: 05/2009. Preservation of microbial biosignatures in sulfate evaporites.

Vicki Mills. Expected graduation: 05/2013. Topic: Effects of pH and temperature on silica phase transformations in hot-spring siliceous sinters, with applications to Mars.


Doctoral Dissertation Committee Chair

Susan Schultz. Advanced to candidacy, 10/2004. Graduated: 05/2007. Dissertation topic: Paleoenvironments and microbial biosignature preservation in Miocene hydrothermal and playa deposits of the Cady Mts., Mojave Desert, eastern California.

Nathan Wilkens. Advanced to candidacy, 10/2005. Graduated: 05/2008. Thesis topic: Paleoecology of interdune playa environments, Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, Moab, Utah.

Nicholas Warner. Advanced to candidacy, 10/2005. Graduated: 12/2008. Dissertation topic: Catastrophic subglacial outfloods, Iceland: Potential analogs for the Chasma Boreale system, Mars.

Michael Thomas. Advanced to candidacy, 10/2005. Program completed without graduation: 12/2012. Dissertation topic: Microbial biodiversity, biosedimentology and fossilization processes in carbonate-depositing springs, Mono Lake, CA.

Jorge Nunez. Advanced to candidacy: 10/2006. Graduated: 05/2012. Thesis topic: In situ, robotic detection of microbial biosignatures in hydrothermal sinter deposits using multispectral color microimaging and laser Raman spectroscopy.


Doctoral Dissertation Committee Member

Michael Rockroth (School of Life Sciences, Microbiology). Graduated: 12/2005. Dissertation topic: Microbial ecology of laminated microbial mat systems at Guerrero Negro, Baja Sur, Mexico.

James Watt (School of Life Sciences, Biology). Graduated: 12/2006. Dissertation topic: Ecology and evolution of cichlid fishes, Cuatro Ciengas Basin, central Mexico.

Brad DeGregorio (School of Earth and Space Exploration). Graduated: 12/2006. Dissertation topic: TEM studies of the oldest terrestrial microfossils.

Amy Knudsen (School of Earth and Space Exploration). Graduated: 12/2006. Dissertation topic: Mars surface properties based on TES, THEMIS and Mini-TES thermal inertia measurements.

Amy McAdam (School of Earth and Space Exploration). Graduated: 12/2008. Acid sulfate weathering processes on Mars.

Jeffrey Havig (School of Earth and Space Exploration). Graduated: 12/2008. Role of trace metals in microbial mat ecology and energetics of hydrothermal springs, Yellowstone National Park.

Hugo Beraldi (School of Life Sciences, Microbiology). Graduated: 12/2009. Dissertation topic: Paleontological record of soil duracrusts.

Witt Taylor (School of Life Sciences, Botany). Expected graduation: 12/2010. Dissertation topic: Tertiary floras of the Nebraska badlands.

Edgardo Ramirez-Reinat (School of Life Sciences; Geomicrobiology). Graduation: 05/2011. Dissertation topic: Dissolution and re-precipitation reactions associated with carbonate-boring endolithic cyanobacteria.

Sally Potter (External committee member; Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, University of Utah). Graduated: 12/2012. Dissertation topic: Paleomicrobial Signatures in Hydrous Ferric OxideConcretions: Chemical, Mineralogical and Textural Markers.


Dr. Elizabeth Chacon ASU/Geological Sciences. “Morphogenesis and microbial biosignature preservation of carbonate oncolites, Rio Mesquites, Cuatro Cienegas Basin, Mexico” (2005)

Dr. Jeffrey Moersch (Prof. of Geology, University of Tennesee) ASU/NASA Ames, “Remote sensing analog studies: Detectability limits for aqueous mineral deposits on Mars” (1998-2000)

Dr. Bruce Fouke (Prof. of Geology, University of Illinois) NASA Ames Exobiology, “Diagenetic history and primary biofabric preservation in Pleistocene travertines, Gardiner, Montana” (1997)

Dr. Kathleen Campbell (Prof. of Geology, University of Auckland) NASA Ames Exobiology, “Microbial contributions to the paleontology, sedimentology and geochemistry of carbonate cold-seep deposits, western North America and Newfoundland” (1995-96)

Dr. Sherry Cady (Prof. of Geology, Portland State University and Editor, Journal Astrobiology). NASA Ames Exobiology, “Role of biofilms in the morphogenesis of geyserite sinters in subaerial thermal springs, Yellowstone National Park” (1993-95)


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Copyright © Dr. Jack Farmer, Arizona State University
email Dr. Farmer: jfarmer at asu dot edu