Melanie Mormile: Mars. Salt. Biofuels.

melanie mormile collecting water samples.jpg

Melaine Mormile, Missouri S&T microbiologist. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Her Passion

Bacteria. Specifically those organisms that can live in extreme environments — places that don’t support more complex life forms.

Why she’s cool

She helped prove the theory that life could exist on Mars. Mormile is one of a group of researchers studying organisms found in the salt-water lakes of western Australia. The salts and acidic pH of the water mimics conditions found on Mars. Mormile found that prokaryotes (simple organisms that lack a nucleus) could handle the unusual environment.

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