Natasha Stephen is the scientific officer of analytical microscopy at Plymouth University.
After working at the Natural History Museum and studying a PHD at Imperial College London, Stephen joined Plymouth University where she works in the Electron Microscopy Centre. As a geologist, she was passionate about studying igneous rocks but wanted to study areas outside of those popularly studied by others in the field such as Iceland and Hawaii.
Instead of choosing these areas, Stephen chose to focus on studying Mars and by establishing links with museums worldwide Stephen is formulating a picture of ‘the red planet’, its conditions and any potential living entities which may have existed there. Stephen’s work has helped to create a database for mineral spectra which is used to help the development of spacecraft and rover data and is aimed at discovering not if there was ever life on Mars, but rather what happened to the planet to make it geologically dead and to provide insight into whether the same fate awaits Earth in the future and how this might be prevented.
Science Vodcast: Natasha Stephen on HG Wells & The First Men in the Moon