Graduate Mentor: Sarah Zeichner
Hometown : Bethesda, MD
Advisor: John Eiler/Woody Fischer
Proposed Research Project:
I apply geochemical, sedimentological, and isotopic tools to examine questions relating to the origins of life and the interplay between abiotic and biotic systems over time.
My current projects include:
- Studying position-specific isotopes of aspartic acid in meteorites to understand abiotic amino acid formation, racemization and potential links to proliferation of biotic chirality
- Examining the role of Late Ordovician-Silurian plant life evolution in changing river deposit composition
Intended PhD Field: Geochemistry
I am passionate about teaching, mentoring and increasing representation of diverse voices in academia. Encouraging this representation is critical at all stages of education, and the foundational principle behind the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. As the Graduate Coordinator, I support individual students one-on-one in the initial steps of their academic journey. It is not only gratifying to support and connect with students at early stages in their careers, but also inspiring to see the incoming voices poised to contribute to these fields in the upcoming years. As much as my job is to mentor and teach the Mellon fellows, I believe I learn much more from them than they do from me!