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Alienating Mars - Bios

Kennda Lynch

Kennda Lynch, PhD
Lunar and Planetary Institute

Kennda Lynch is a staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, which she joined after a postdoc at Georgia Institute of Technology where she focused on the geobiology of hypersaline paleolake sediments as analogs for ancient lakes on Mars. She earned her PhD in Environmental Science & Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines—with the prestigious NASA Harriet Jenkins fellowship—following an MS in aerospace engineering science from the University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to academia she spent 5 years at NASA Johnson Space Center, working on habitation hardware for ISS astronauts, and prototype life & habitability detection instruments for robotic missions to Mars.

Christopher Mason

Christopher Mason, PhD
Weill Cornell Medicine

Perhaps best known as a lead investigator and the geneticist for the NASA Twins Study, which revealed the impact of long-term space travel on the human body, Christopher Mason is Associate Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is a systems thinker, who characterizes multi-omic data in a variety of environments—from NYC subway stations to Chernobyl-struck villages to outer space. He earned a BS in Genetics and Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison, his PhD in Genetics from Yale University, and a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical genetics at Yale Medical School while jointly a post-doctoral Fellow of Genomics, Ethics, and Law at Yale Law School.

Lucianne Walkowicz

Lucianne Walkowicz, PhD
The JustSpace Alliance; Adler Plantarium

Lucianne Walkowicz is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. They study the ethics of Mars exploration, stellar magnetic activity, how stars influence a planet’s suitability to host alien life, and advanced computing to discover unusual events in large astronomical data sets. In 2018, they co-founded The JustSpace Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for a more inclusive and ethical future in space, and aims to harness visions of tomorrow for a more just and equitable world today. Dr. Walkowicz has a BS in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University, an MS and PhD in Astronomy from the University of Washington, and postdoctoral fellowships at UC Berkeley and Princeton.

Brooke Grindlinger

Brooke Grindlinger, PhD
New York Academy of Sciences

Brooke Grindlinger serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of Scientific Programs & Awards at the New York Academy of Sciences. In this role, she leads strategic development and scientific oversight of the Academy's international portfolio of scientific workshops, conferences, symposia, and related multimedia publications. She also stewards the Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists and Innovators in Science Award prize programs — two of the largest unrestricted awards ever created for young scientists. Prior to joining the Academy, she served as Science Editor for The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Brooke received her Bachelor of Science and PhD in molecular and microbial biosciences from the University of Sydney, Australia.